Member newsletter - December 2021

hennepin health member newsletter


December 2021


In this issue:

New member ID cards coming in January

All Hennepin Health members will receive new member ID cards in January. The ID cards, along with information about elections for the Enrollee Advisory Council, will be mailed in early January.

If you don’t receive your new member ID card by January 10, please contact Member Services at 612-596-1036 (TTY 800-627-3529) for assistance.

Also, the annual member satisfaction survey, called the Adult Consumer Satisfaction Survey (CAHPS®), will be randomly mailed to members in early 2022.

COVID-19 updates


COVID-19 vaccine for kids

Kids ages 5-11 are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC recommends that kids get the COVID vaccine to protect them and their family and help stop the pandemic.

Some parents may have questions about vaccines for their kids. Dr. Andrea Singh, a pediatrician and mom to two boys, answers some common questions families have about the COVID-19 vaccines for kids ages 5 to 11 in this video on You can also talk with trusted medical sources like your child’s doctor.

Getting your child vaccinated helps keep them in school, sports and other activities. Children who are vaccinated may not have to stay home (quarantine) if they are exposed to someone who has COVID.

Your network health care providers are giving free COVID vaccinations. Go to your clinic website to schedule an appointment and for more information.

Or you can get the COVID vaccine at a public health event. Hennepin County is offering vaccine incentives to people ages 5 and older who receive a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at any Hennepin County vaccine event (while supplies last). See a list of upcoming county vaccine events at

If you need transportation, interpreter services or have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, call Member Services at 612-596-1036 (TTY 800-627-3529).

Booster shots

The CDC is now recommending COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for people 16 years and older. Booster shots are recommended at least 6 months after completing the primary Pfizer or Moderna vaccination series or at least 2 months after getting the Johnson & Johnson shot.

At this time, only the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for adolescents aged 16 and 17.

You can talk with your health care provider about the need for a booster dose. And you can go to the CDC website for more information.

Slow the spread during the holidays

We all enjoy spending time with family and friends, especially during the holidays. The CDC suggests the following steps for safer in-person gatherings.

  • Lay low before you go. Avoid crowded settings for a couple weeks beforehand.
  • Get tested a few days prior to gathering, either at a testing site or through the at-home testing program. Results take 1-3 hours for a rapid antigen test, and 24-72 hours for a saliva PCR test.
  • Stay home if you have symptoms or if you test positive for COVID-19.
  • Use multiple layers of protection. Wear a mask in crowded settings and stick to outdoor or socially distanced activities where possible, especially if you’re getting together with multiple households, multiple generations, unvaccinated people or people in high-risk groups.
  • Delay travel until you are fully vaccinated. Go to your clinic website to schedule an appointment and for more information. For public vaccination events in Hennepin County, visit

Learn more at #CelebrateSafely.

If you need transportation, interpreter services or have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, call Member Services at 612-596-1036 (TTY 800-627-3529).

celebrate safely

Health club membership credit for MinnesotaCare members

Starting January 1, 2022, Hennepin Health will offer a health club membership credit to MinnesotaCare members who belong to the YMCA of the North. When you visit the YMCA six times in the month, a $30 credit is applied to your account. With this credit, you can save up to 40% off your monthly membership fee.

The program is available to MinnesotaCare members who currently have a YMCA membership or to MinnesotaCare members who join the YMCA. You may qualify for other financial assistance offered by the YMCA.

How to get the credit

After January 1, MinnesotaCare members who already belong to the YMCA can show your Hennepin Health member ID card when you check in for your next YMCA visit and ask to be enrolled in the Hennepin Health reimbursement program.

MinnesotaCare members who want to join the YMCA can sign-up online or in person. Go to Locations | YMCA of the North ( to find the YMCA locations near you. Once you become a YMCA member, show your Hennepin Health member ID card at the YMCA check-in to become enrolled in the Hennepin Health reimbursement program.

If you have questions about the MinnesotaCare health club membership credit, contact Member Services at 612-596-1036 (TTY 800-627-3529). To learn more about the YMCA, go to YMCA of the North (

Note for SNBC members: Your YMCA health club benefit remains the same. This new health club membership is for MinnesotaCare members.

health club membership

Be prepared for winter weather

Are you prepared to stay safe this winter? Minnesota winters can be a great time to get out and explore. But winter also presents some hazards to prepare for including extreme cold, snow, and ice.

Create emergency kits

Heavy snow or ice storms can make it hard to get out to get what you need. So, it’s a good idea to be prepared to hunker down for a few days and to stay safe when traveling on our roads. See's list of what to include in an emergency kit at home and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s list of what to include in a winter driving survival kit.

Get outside safely

As long as you’re prepared, Minnesota winters are a great time to get out and explore. Remind yourself how to dress for chilly, cold, and extremely cold weather with this helpful graphic from (PDF).

winter dress


Learn the signs of hypothermia and frostbite and the avoid, spot, treat approach from the CDC. Avoid getting hypothermia or frostbite by dressing properly and knowing who is at greater risk. Know how to spot the signs and symptoms and treat anyone who is experiencing symptoms properly to avoid further risks.

Once you are ready for cold weather, get out and explore. There are many different winter activities to try, from downhill and cross country skiing to snowshoeing, fat biking and ice skating. Rental options allow you to try out a new winter activity without having to buy equipment. Find options in the Choose to Reuse article on renting winter sports equipment.

Clear snow and ice responsibly

Using salt on sidewalks and driveways can help improve safety, but too much salt pollutes water and can harm pets and wildlife. Melting snow and ice carries salt into our lakes, rivers and streams, permanently polluting our water.

Do your part to minimize the impact by following Clean Water Minnesota’s four steps to using sidewalk salt responsibly:

  1. Shovel early and often
  2. Select the right product for the right temperature
  3. Scatter to use salt sparingly
  4. Sweep up leftover salt and sand

Catch up on childhood immunizations

Childhood immunizations protect kids from serious diseases like COVID-19, measles, mumps, rubella, and diphtheria. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, childhood immunization rates have fallen in Minnesota.

Not only do childhood immunizations help keep children safe, but they also protect other vulnerable family members. As families prepare to come together for the holidays, getting children caught up on childhood immunizations, including the COVID-19 vaccination if they’re five or older, helps keep all family members safe and healthy.

More information:

childhood immunization

Flu shots protect you and your family

It is still a good time to get a flu shot for you and your family. And if you still need a COVID-19 vaccine, you can get a flu shot at the same visit.

flu shot1

Flu shots are safe and covered by your health plan with zero cost to you. By getting a flu shot, you help preserve health care resources and protect yourself, your family and vulnerable populations.

You can get a flu shot at your clinic, local pharmacy and some retail locations. Check this list of pharmacies for a location near you.

Advance health care directives

You can inform others of your health care wishes with an advance health care directive. A health care directive is a written document that informs others of your wishes about your health care. It allows you to name a person (agent) to decide for you if you are unable to or if you want someone else to decide for you. You must be at least 18 years old to make a health care directive.

A health care directive is important if your attending physician determines you can’t communicate your health care choices (because of physical or mental incapacity). It is also important if you wish to have someone else make your health care decisions. In some circumstances, your directive may state that you want someone other than an attending physician to decide when you cannot make your own decisions.

You don’t need to have a health care directive. But writing one helps to make sure your wishes are followed. You will still receive medical treatment if you don’t have a written directive. Health care providers will listen to what people close to you say about your treatment preferences. But the best way to be sure your wishes are followed is to have an advance health care directive.

For more information and how to make an advance health care directive, go online to advance-directive-form.pdf (

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