Member newsletter - August 2020

hennepin health member newsletter


 August 2020

In this issue:

Take care of your health



During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s especially important to get the preventative health care you need. Preventative, routine and follow-up care protects and improves your health.

Flu season is coming. Remember to get a flu shot for you and your children.

Stay on track with child well-visits. These visits are important for staying up-to-date with immunizations, and for tracking your child’s mental, physical and social development. They are a chance for you to learn the best ways to help your child grow.

Continue to seek emergency care. If you are experiencing severe chest pain, sudden/partial loss of motor function, uncontrolled high blood sugar, or other life-threatening issues it's important to seek immediate emergency care. You can call the HealthConnections 24/7 nurse line at 1-888-859-0202 or call 911.

Mental health matters


Feeling stressed due to COVID-19 and 2020 in general? This year, more than ever, it’s important to check up on your mental health.

You are not alone. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Get help from the COVID Cares free telephone support service at 833-437-3466. Volunteer licensed mental health and substance use disorder personnel will answer your call 7 days a week, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Volunteers will listen, share resources and tools, and talk with you about experiencing stress.

Find helpful mental health supports on Hennepin County’s community resources page:

mental health

Online health tool for members


Did you know that as a member you can use the Healthwise® Knowledgebase online health tool? This web tool helps you make decisions about your health and lifestyle. You can:

  • Check symptoms
  • Use the interactive personal calculators
  • Watch videos
  • Read about health-related topics

Learn about your health at your convenience, in English or Spanish. Healthwise® Knowledgebase can also help you prepare health-related questions for your doctor or clinic.

Healthwise® Knowledgebase adds topics frequently so you may want to visit often. Go to and check it out.


Member voices make us strong


We believe our organization is stronger when we listen to our members. In addition to collecting feedback daily through Member Services, we have two committees that meet regularly to share their ideas and experiences.

Because of COVID-19, both committees recently switched from in-person to virtual online meetings.

Enrollee Advisory Committee

This member group gives feedback on overall health plan issues, new programs and changes in procedures. Group feedback reflects the priorities and interests of members.

At the June meeting, the group participated in active conversations. Topics included:

  • How Hennepin Health supports county initiatives for COVID-19
  • Community outreach
  • Member communications
  • Healthwise® Knowledgebase – how to promote it

The group also had an open discussion on current events with their perspectives related to racial and social justice issues.

SNBC Advisory Committee

This member group gives feedback about care satisfaction with the Hennepin Health-SNBC health plan, identifies problems and give suggestions for improving our service delivery.

At their last meeting in July, the group talked about a few ways COVID-19 was affecting normal health care. They discussed:

  • Remote and virtual mental health service options
  • Home and community-based services in a virtual world
  • Healthwise® Knowledgebase topics and resources

Both committees give members and staff an opportunity to connect and talk on a personal level. The information provided by these groups allows us to improve the quality of and access to care for our members.

If you are interested in becoming a member of one of these committees, contact Member Services at 612-596-1036, TTY 1-800-627-3529.

Prepare for annual health plan selection period


Your annual health plan selection period is coming soon. Here are two things you can do to make sure your plan selection is smooth and easy.

  • We want you to receive your selection period information on time. If your address has changed since last October, let your county worker know so all records are current.
  • Prenatal care can help you have a healthy baby. Women who are pregnant receive additional benefits to help them have a healthy pregnancy. If you are now pregnant, let your county work know to update your record.

COVID-19 updates


Federal public health emergency extended

The federal government extended the COVID-19 public health emergency effective July 25. This extension means that health plan changes put in place for the COVID-19 pandemic continue.

  • Your current health plan coverage continues unless you request it to end or you move out of state. You will not need to renew it until further notice.
  • You will not have to pay for COVID-19 testing or treatment ordered by your doctor. You will not have to pay for medically necessary treatment ordered by your doctor at providers in the Hennepin Health network. You will not have to pay cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing or treatment within the Hennepin Health network.
  • In many cases, phone and internet visits are allowed instead of face-to-face visits. Many services can now be provided by using telemedicine. Call Member Services at 612-596-1036, TTY 1-800-627-3529 with questions.
  • A 90-day refill of certain medicines is allowed. You will pay the same co-pay that you would for a 30-day refill.

Call Member Services at 612-596-1036, TTY 1-800-627-3529, if you have questions.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, please get tested. Visit the MDH website for online screening and to find a testing site near you.



Health care visits have changed

Before COVID-19, getting health care for you and your family was mostly going to the clinic in person. Now, the way to get health care has changed.

Things to know about in-person visits

  • Appointments are necessary. Clinics are not currently accepting walk-ins.
  • Clinics and hospitals are taking extra safety measures:
    • You are required to wear a face covering when you enter the building.
    • Your temperature may be checked.
    • You will be asked if you have a cough, fever or shortness of breath; all of those could be symptoms of COVID-19.
    • You will be questioned by clinic staff about any exposure to COVID-19.
  • In-person appointments are being accepted for some medical visits. You can get care known as video visits or telemedicine for non-urgent and some urgent medical care.

Video visits and telemedicine

You can see a provider for some common medical concerns from the comfort and convenience of home. Video visits or telemedicine visits are conducted using your phone or computer.

  • For video visits, you connect through an app on your smartphone or tablet, or via a camera-enabled laptop or computer. During the visit, you and your provider will be able to see, hear and speak with each other.
  • Many providers also offer phone visits or online clinics.
  • Some providers require a video visit before you can get tested for COVID-19.

Visit your provider’s website to see their safety requirements and what type of visits they are currently offering.


Get a mask, wear a mask

We can protect each other by wearing a cloth face mask. Wearing a mask is simple - nearly everyone can do it. Learn more about the state's masking requirement for indoor businesses and public settings.

To ease the burden for those who may be unable to afford a mask or easily obtain one, the State is partnering with community organizations to distribute more than 300,000 reusable, cloth masks. Learn more and find an organization near you:

Watch videos on why local residents wear masks:

mask up


DHS approved 8/20/2020 ID# HC-1101-MC

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