Health briefs: Help available for insurance enrollment
Steamboat Springs — Help is available for insurance enrollment
Individuals who need health insurance or need to renew their plans must do so by Jan. 31, 2017.
· There are new plans and prices every year. Financial help is available to lower monthly costs.
· Free in-person assistance is available to help you find the right plan.
· If you’re already enrolled, you need to renew your plan to retain coverage. Be sure to review your options.
· There are tax penalties for not having health insurance.
· You must enroll or renew your plan by:
- Dec. 15 for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2017
- Jan. 15, 2017, for coverage beginning Feb. 1, 2017
- Jan. 31, 2017, for coverage beginning March 1, 2017
For assistance free assistance, contact a health coverage guide at Northwest Colorado Health at 970-871-7330 or Yampa Valley Medical Center at 970-879-1322. Drop-in open enrollment assistance also is available from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays Nov. 2 through Jan. 25 at Yampa Valley Medical Center, 1024 Central Park Drive. For more information and resources, visit northwestcoloradohealth.org/healthinsurance.
Free breast exams available for qualified women
Women who are age 40 to 64 and have limited or no health insurance may qualify for free breast exams and cervical cancer screenings. In addition to meeting age and income requirements, women must live in Colorado, be legal residents (or legally present) in the U.S. and have not had a mammogram or Pap test in the last 12 months. Women’s Wellness Connection is a program at Northwest Colorado Health. For more information, visit northwestcoloradohealth.org/wwc or call 970-879-1632.
Parkinson’s Support Group helps patients, caregivers
The Yampa Valley Parkinson’s Support Network meets at 5 p.m. the second Monday of every month at Casey’s Pond. All patients, caregivers and family members are welcome to attend. Discussions often include guest speakers and focus on quality of life issues, research updates and living well with Parkinson’s Disease. Contact Adrienne Hearne for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-630-1373.
Take precautions to avoid foodborne illness
Each year, one in six Americans get sick from consuming foods or beverages contaminated with disease-causing microbes or pathogens. The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association recommends the following precautions to reduce your risk of foodborne illness.
· Always wash your hands with soap and water before preparing food.
· Cook meat, poultry and eggs thoroughly. Use a food thermometer to measure internal temperature of meat.
· Wash hands, utensils and cutting boards after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry and before they touch another food.
· Refrigerate leftovers that won’t be eaten within four hours. Bacteria can grow quickly at room temperature.
· Wash produce in running tap water. Remove outermost leaves of a lettuce or cabbage. Bacteria can grow well on the cut surface of a fruit or vegetable. Take care not to contaminate produce while slicing on a cutting board, and don’t leave cut produce out for many hours.
· Keep food away from flies and insects.
Common symptoms of foodborne illness include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and chills. Avoid preparing food for others if you have these symptoms. Pregnant women, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe infections and should not consume undercooked animal products.
Contact your healthcare provider if you think you have a foodborne illness. For more information, go to cdc.gov/foodsafety/facts.
Support is available to quit tobacco
Smoking cigarettes or using smokeless tobacco can have serious, potentially fatal, heath consequences. Tobacco cessation support can significantly improve a person’s chances of quitting for good. The Colorado QuitLine provides cessation phone or online support for people who want to quit smoking or using smokeless tobacco. Free nicotine patches and gum are available. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or go to coquitline.org. Smokefree TXT provides personalized text message support for people who want to quit smoking. Sign up at smokefree.gov.
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