Craig health briefs for Nov. 21, 2015: Drop-in assistance available for health insurance enrollment | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig health briefs for Nov. 21, 2015: Drop-in assistance available for health insurance enrollment

Craig Daily Press Staff Report

— Assistance enrolling in health insurance will be available 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Western Slope Health Insurance in the Victory Building, 500 Yampa Ave.

Please bring a laptop (if possible), social security numbers for each family member and any current policy information. Drop-ins are welcome. For more information, call 970-824-1045.

Happier, Healthier Holiday Challenge kicks off this week

The second annual Happier, Healthier Holiday Challenge, launched by Kaiser Permanente's Weigh and Win program, encourages Coloradans to maintain their current weight throughout the 2015 holiday season.

All participants receive a free downloadable Healthy Holidays Calendar, providing tips for overcoming holiday temptations and engaging in healthy behaviors. Those who lose weight or stay within one pound of initially recorded weight will be entered into a prize drawing for the chance to win one of 10 grand prizes — a $125 Sports Authority Gift Card — or one of 10 runner-up prizes — $25 Sports Authority Gift Card.

Participants are required to complete an initial weigh-in by Wednesday at any kiosk location. Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association has a kiosk in its front lobby. A final weigh-in must be completed between Jan. 1 and 8 to qualify for the Healthy Holiday incentive.

On average, a person will gain one to two pounds during each holiday season. This excess weight is typically never lost which, over time, can add up to a significant weight gain, according to a Weigh and Win press release.

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Sign up for a free account at WeighandWin.com, then click "Join the Challenge" under the Healthy Holidays tab.

Medicare counseling available for seniors

Open enrollment for Medicare drug plans, or Part D, ends Dec. 7. Medicare enrollees are encouraged to meet with a certified Medicare counselor to review their plan and ensure their prescription needs are being met.

Medicare clients have the opportunity to review and switch drug plans each year during the open enrollment period. If you feel you're paying too much or your prescriptions aren't covered by your current plan, there may be better options available.

To make an appointment to review your plan, contact Betsy Packer at 970-819-6401.

Help is available for insurance enrollment

Individuals who need health insurance or need to renew their plans must do so by Jan. 31, 2016. Be aware of the following important information:

 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 fines for not having health insurance.

 You must enroll or renew your plan by:

  • Dec, 15, 2015 for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2016
  • Jan. 15, 2016 for coverage beginning Feb. 1, 2016
  • Jan. 31, 2016 for coverage beginning March 1, 2016

For assistance in enrolling in health insurance, contact a Health Coverage Guide at the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association at 970-871-7324.

Drop-in open enrollment assistance also is available 5:30 to 7 p.m. Dec. 14 and Jan. 14, 2016 at YampaCare Family Medicine, 595 Russell St.

Residents encouraged to take health needs survey

Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, TMH and Yampa Valley Medical Center are seeking input about health needs in our communities. Residents can share their feedback by taking an online survey or attending community forums being held in Moffat and Routt counties.

Information from the Community Health Needs Assessment will be used to design programs and solutions to improve residents' well-being.

The survey takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete and the deadline has been extended. Completing the survey makes you eligible to win a $50 gift certificate to City Market. To take the online survey, go to nwcovna.org/events.php. Paper surveys are available at the Craig VNA, 745 Russell Street. All answers are confidential.

MADD announces National Day of Remembrance

Mothers Against Drunk Driving announced the first-ever National Day of Remembrance on Dec. 3 to honor those who have been killed or injured in drunk driving crashes and their loved ones.

“Over 10,000 people every year are killed and another 290,000 are injured as a result of drunk driving," said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church in a press release, whose 18-year-old son Dustin was killed in an underage drunk and drugged driving crash. "Countless loved ones are left behind to cope with these tragedies and rebuild their lives."

December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month and the deadliest month of the year for drunk driving crashes, according to the release, with New Year's Day ranking as the deadliest single day of the year for drunk driving.

Leading up to the event, drunk and drugged driving victims are invited to post an image of their loved ones using the hashtag "#MADDremembers" on social media or on the MADD Facebook page. For more information about MADD's National Day of Remembrance, or to find a local event, visit madd.org/dayofremembrance.

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