United For Better Health is Back!



United For Better Health

Host, Mary McElrath-Jones

“United for Better Health” airs every first and third Wednesday at 10:30am.  It is a half hour program that features health care professionals in and around Westchester County.  The show’s guests discuss a wide range of health care topics and offer meaningful suggestions and solutions for better health, a better health care experience and better control of your health care costs.

As the health care system continues to evolve with new technologies, programs and treatments the opportunities to help people live healthier lives have never been greater.  “United for Better Health” aims to help WVOX listeners become actively engaged in their own health and health care so that they better understand their health plan benefits, know more about the latest trends in disease management and better understand the value of an effective, sustainable health care system.


JoJo Wallace

JoJo Wallace, market leader for UnitedHealthcare in Westchester County was our guest on October 4th and he shared with us some exciting news for the 2017 health insurance open enrollment season.  Effective October 15, Westchester residents who rely on both Medicare and Medicaid for their health insurance coverage will have access to a new health plan offered by UnitedHealthcare.  The plan, titled Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans or D-SNP, offers enhanced health benefits based on an individual’s medical, social, behavioral and financial needs.  Jojo highlighted a number of key benefits of this new health plan including free gym membership, delivered meals following post acute care and a debit card that can be used for prescriptions and other health related items.  For more information about this health plan and to find out if you are eligible go to www.uhccommunityplan.com, visit the UnitedHealthcare health benefits store at 328  S. Broadway,Yonkers, NY or call 877-629-3617.

Dr. Kesh

If you missed our conversation with WESTMED’s Dr. Sandra Kesh, infectious disease specialist and Dr. Caroline DeFilippo, associate medical director you’ll want to click the on the on-demand link for their show now!  These top docs shared information about an important adult immunization initiative implemented by the American Medical Group Association.

The doctors reminded us that immunizations are not just for babies and young kids.  In fact, vaccines are recommended throughout our lives based on age, lifestyle, occupation, travel destinations, medical conditions and vaccines you may have received in the past.  And of course, certain health conditions may put you at greater risk for getting some diseases or having more serious illness if you were to get sick.

Dr. DeFilippo

Dr. Kesh suggests you take the CDC’s Adult Vaccine Quiz to find out which vaccines may be recommended for you.  Once you’ve taken the quiz, take the customized printout and discuss with your doctor.  And as we head into flu season you’ll want to educate yourself on key facts that will help you prevent and protect you and your loved ones from the flu.

In February, Dr. Richard Morel, co-medical director of WESTMED Medical Group shared information about CMS’ Million Hearts initiative.  Million Hearts™ brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners from across the country to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.  More information about this program can be found at: https://millionhearts.hhs.gov/

In March we spoke with Dr. Richard Klich, chief dental officer for UnitedHealthcare, about children’s dental health.  More information on this topic can be found at: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/analysis/2016/02/16/childrens-dental-health-disparities

In April, UnitedHealthcare announced its 1 billion step challenge and invited people whose health plan includes UnitedHealthcare Motion to walk 10,000 steps collectively.  More information about UnitedHealthcare Motion can be found at: https://unitedhealthcaremotion.com/.

Chuck Cerniglia

We also spoke with Chuck Cerniglia, vice president of sales with UnitedHealthcare, about health care literacy.    Health care literacy can be defined as your ability to find, understand, communicate, and take action on health information.  Chuck defined many of the health insurance terms that often confuse consumers  For more health care ABC’s visit: https://www.uhc.com/healthcareabcs

In May, we reminded New Yorkers that UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation grants for up to $5,000 are available to help families with sick children under age 16 pay for medical services and equipment such as physical, occupational and speech therapy, surgeries, prescriptions, wheelchairs and orthotics.  We kicked off National Bike Month by speaking with John Appuzzio, product manager at UnitedHealthcare about the Citi Bike/Oxford Sweat Equity 10X10X10 Challenge in New York City.  The 10X10X10 Challenge invited people to take 10 CitiBike trips of at least 10 minutes in 10 days for a chance to win a CitiBike & UnitedHealthcare prize package.   In May we also spoke with Dr. Rhonda Randall, senior advisor to United Health Foundation about the results of the 5th annual America’s Health rankings Senior Report.  The Report is a comprehensive analysis of the senior population across the country on a state-by-state basis which seeks to promote discussion around the health of older Americans while encouraging communities, governments, stakeholders and individuals to take action to improve senior health. More information about each of these programs can be found at: http://mmcguireuhc.blogspot.com/

In June we discussed the results of UnitedHealthcare’s nationwide Consumer Sentiment Survey: “Wellness Check Up”, with Ann Marie O’Brien, national director of health strategies at UnitedHealthcare.  The study provided insights into employees’ knowledge and preferences about wellness programs offered as a part of their employer-sponsored health insurance.  Ann Marie offered employers and employees tips on getting the most from their wellness plan.  Click here for great health and wellness tips on nutrition, weight management, heart health and summer safety.

Ariel Batista

We ended the month of June with a conversation with Ariel Batista, the market leader for UnitedHealthcare in Westchester County.  Ariel walked us through Medicaid 101; a lesson that was not to be missed.  He explained, in simple layperson terms, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Plan and the Essential Plan.  If you missed it, you’ll want to take a listen to this conversation on demand (see link below).


After a summer break in July and August, we’re back!!!  This September we kicked-off our bi-monthly programming with Chuck Cerniglia, vice president of sales for UnitedHealthcare.  Chuck suggested the following to get the most out of your health insurance plan:

Do your research – if you have a scheduled medical procedure review your plan to be sure doctors are in-network and that you’ve chosen based on quality and affordability

Use transparency tools available to you – All UnitedHealthcare and Oxford health plans have access to a really cool and effective transparency tool called Health4Me.  The recently upgraded Health4Me app for iPhone and Android devices automatically tells you when it’s time for preventive medical care.  Preventive care – preventive care is included in most plans at 100% coverage level and typically includes annual physical exams, colonoscopy, mammogram, basic blood tests, gynecological exam and cervical cancer screen.   Even if you are in the best shape of your life, a serious condition with no signs or symptoms may put your health at risk.  At www.uhcpreventivecare.com you can identify your age and gender-specific preventive care recommendations that can help you and your doctor make health decisions that meet your lifestyle and daily habits and help you live a healthier life.

Know and use the wellness tools made available to you– UnitedHealthcare offers many tools to help people improve their health or maintain a healthy lifestyle they already have in place.  Rally, Real Appeal, Motion and Sweat-Equity are three examples

Know and use the savings tools available to you – like the health savings account (HSA).  Recently released reports from Employee Benefit Research Institute and Morningstar found that many people don’t take full advantage of their health savings accounts (HSAs). For more information on HSA accounts go to www.hsacenter.com  to become better informed.  The HSA Center includes video clips, interactive calculators, an extensive FAQ, and a list of qualified medical expenses.

I invite you to listen on demand to any of the programs you missed or visit us at http://www.uhc.com for more information about how UnitedHealthcare is helping people live healthier lives and helping to make the health care system work better for everyone.

Thank you for listening!


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