What the pandemic taught us about preventive care, and why it’s important.

posted by Amber Brady on August 30, 2022 Invest In Your Health logo

State employees, like so many others across the country, had their lives disrupted by the pandemic. There were some good changes, like getting closer to family and having more time to think and re-evaluate, but also a lot of good habits were broken—like exercising, annual check-ups with your doctor, and dental cleanings. Gyms were closed and it was hard to get an appointment with a primary care physician or dentist.

Right now, we’re seeing the results of these missed preventive visits, and they are not good.

Chronic disease rates are increasing because they aren’t being caught early, and emergency room visits are the highest they’ve ever been.

This rise in chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels mean shorter lifespans, poorer quality of life, higher healthcare costs, more sick days, less overall energy, and more time spent in hospitals and emergency room visits.

The good news is, many chronic conditions are manageable, and if caught early enough, they can be prevented. Prediabetes is a great example of a developing chronic condition that can be reversed with dedication to lifestyle changes.

So how does this affect you? If you’re diagnosed with pre-diabetes, for example, having the resources and support that allow you to make lifestyle changes could:

The good news is, your commitment to scheduling annual physicals, blood work, and dental cleanings can help you catch these conditions early and help put a plan in place to manage your health. These routine screenings can be lifesaving!

These screenings are so important that the State Personnel Department’s Invest In Your Health program offers rewards to encourage you along the way.

Here is a checklist of the three most important steps to take right now:

1. Complete your annual wellness visit.

2. Complete your annual dental cleaning.

3. Have a plan for crises.

Remember, these core preventive care steps—wellness visits and dental cleanings—are 100% covered by the state’s health insurance plan, with no out of pocket fees. And when you track your visits in the ActiveHealth portal, you and an eligible spouse have the opportunity to earn up to $175 in gift cards (including a $25 gift card for completing an online health assessment).

We want you to live a healthy, happy life. So, in addition to your health insurance, the State of Indiana invests in additional resources that you can use to navigate common healthcare matters:

Invest In Your Health Indiana

The www.InvestInYourHealthIndiana.com website is the hub that houses all wellness resources available to State of Indiana employees. If you’re looking for resources to help you get active, find a doctor, eat healthy, manage stress, quit tobacco, and more, Invest In Your Health Indiana is your one-stop shop.

General Health

ActiveHealth: Wellness is a daily commitment, and ActiveHealth will be your partner to help you make little changes that have a big impact on your life. Through ActiveHealth, you can work with qualified professionals and access reliable information to improve your health. You can also get rewarded for your hard work with $175 in gift cards!

NurseLine – Deciding where to go: What if you had a nurse in your back pocket? Someone knowledgeable you could talk to any time of the day or night, 365 days a year? You can. NurseLine is part of Anthem’s whole-health approach. When you call 800-337-4770, a registered nurse can help you with your baby’s fever, give you allergy relief tips and advise you where to go for care.

Sydney App: With Sydney, Anthem’s app, you can find everything you need to know about your Anthem benefits – personalized and all in one place. Sydney makes it easier to get things done, so you can spend more time focused on your health. You can check your deductible, find out how much services cost, find a provider, and more.

Condition Care: Anthem’s ConditionCare program connects you with specially trained nurses, nurse care managers, pharmacists, dietitians, doctors, and other health care professionals to help you manage conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and more. For more details or to join Condition Care call 866-962-0963.

LiveHealth Online Virtual Care: With LiveHealth Online, you now have on-demand, quick and easy access to board-certified doctors with a video visit using your smartphone, tablet or computer, or through the Sydney Health app. You can sign up for free at www.livehealthonline.com or download the mobile app from your app store! Visit www.investinyourhealthindiana.com/livehealth-online to learn more.

DispatchHealth: DispatchHealth brings comfortable medical care to your home. For every house call, DispatchHealth sends a physician assistant or nurse practitioner along with a medical technician. An on-call physician is also available at all times via phone. Most insurance is accepted. Please contact DispatchHealth for more information about your specific plan. Visit www.DispatchHealth.com or call (317) 680-2663. Only available for metro-Indy area.


Future Moms: Future Moms is a program that can answer your questions about pregnancy and follow your health care provider’s plan of care. This also includes post-partum concerns and lactation support! Each participant receives a free care package when enrolling. Sign up as soon as you know you’re pregnant. Just call toll free at (800) 828-5891. View the Future moms flyer or the Future moms, expectant fathers flyer.


Lark – Diabetes Prevention Program: Lark is a digital diabetes prevention program that can help you determine your risk for prediabetes and take steps to address it. Visit lark.com/anthem for more information.

Onduo – Type 2 Diabetes Management Program: Onduo provides everyday support for managing type 2 diabetes. Learn about healthy choices, track your progress, and get connected to support through the Onduo app. View the Onduo virtual care flyer.

Diabetes Prevention Programs: Certified Diabetes Prevention Programs (DPP) are year-long programs designed to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. These lifestyle-change programs are offered face-to-face or virtually.

Diabetes Self-Management Education Programs: Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) programs provide you with the knowledge, skills and abilities you need to manage diabetes and improve your quality of life.

Mental Health and Stress Management

Employee Assistance Program (EAP): The goal of EAP is to help you cope with the challenges happening in your life – whether those concern financial issues, emotional well-being, addiction and recovery, or other life events, the Optum EAP services are available to you. When you call, you are paired with a clinical social worker, professional counselor, psychologist, or marriage and family therapist who best fits your needs and concerns.

988 Mental Health Hotline: 988 is more than just an easy-to-remember number—it will offer a direct connection to compassionate, accessible care and support for anyone experiencing mental health-related distress – whether that is thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crisis, or any other kind of emotional distress.

National Alliance for Mental Health Indiana: NAMI Indiana is the state chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI Indiana facilitates education, support and advocacy programs to improve the quality of life for people living with serious mental illnesses, their families, and their friends.

Indiana 211: 211 is a free and confidential services that helps Hoosiers across Indiana find the local resources they need. Dial 2-1-1 to connect with a navigator. 2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Learn to Live: Learn to Live provides digital resources and customized online programs for individuals dealing with social anxiety, depression, insomnia, substance use, stress, COVID-19 concerns, and more. This platform is built to help you identify the thoughts and behavior patterns that perpetuate issues, so you can work through them.

Sleep Foundation: Sleep is a pillar of health. Quality sleep promotes overall wellness. Through the Sleep Foundation, you can find comprehensive health information from high-quality sources on topics like sleep disorders, improving the quality of your sleep, sleep hygiene, circadian rhythms and more.

Indiana Suicide Prevention: Indiana Suicide Prevention has resources for parents, teens, and veterans, along with crisis line phone numbers and a local resource locator.

Exercise and Healthy Eating

Gym Discounts: Several gyms, programs and facilities across Indiana offer membership discounts to State of Indiana employees. If you’re looking for a new gym or new ways to get active, use this resource to find a facility near you.

Indiana Recreation Guide: The 2022 Indiana Recreation Guide showcases the wide variety of activities, challenges and recreational opportunities at Indiana State Parks this year. Use this guide to find new adventures for you and your family.

Physical Activity Tools: The Physical Activity Tools web page is a hub for a variety of recreation guides, walking routes, community parks, trails and other exercise ideas.

MyPlate Kitchen – Healthy Recipes: On MyPlate Kitchen, you can find recipes and resources to help you eat healthy and support your healthy lifestyle. Sort by food group to find recipes with the ingredients you have at home or to get started on a grocery list. Save your favorite recipes, make personalized cookbooks and more!

Nutrition.gov – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): Nutrition.gov is a USDA-sponsored website that serves as a gateway to reliable information on nutrition, healthy eating, physical activity, and food safety for consumers. Here, you can find recipes, nutrition 101, research on food safety and food security, and more!

Quitting Tobacco

Quit Now Indiana: Quit Now Indiana is a free phone-based counseling service that helps Indiana tobacco users quit. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to connect with experienced professional Quit Coaches.

Employee Assistance Program: The goal of the EAP is to help you cope with the challenges happening in your life – whether it’s concerning financial issues, emotional well-being, addiction and recovery, or other life events, the Optum EAP services are available to you. When you call, you are paired with a clinical social worker, professional counselor, psychologist, or marriage and family therapist who best fits your needs and concerns. Visit www.liveandworkwell.com and enter access code Indiana.

Smokefree.gov: The National Cancer Institute created Smokefree.gov to help you or someone you care about quit smoking. Here you can find tools and tips, information on nicotine replacement therapy, smokefree apps, texting programs and more!

Vape-Free Indiana: Vape-Free Indiana has resources to help Indiana youth stop vaping. Find resources for parents and youth, including the Live Vape-Free program.

All of these resources and more can be found on the Invest In Your Health website. Your health is our priority here at the Indiana State Personnel Department, because healthier employees live happier lives and are more engaged at home and at work.

Together, let us get back on track toward a healthier state of Indiana workforce, because we all depend on each other—and coworkers who are healthy in mind and body are coworkers we can really count on.