Craig health briefs for Dec. 13, 2014: Flu shots available at drop-in clinic | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig health briefs for Dec. 13, 2014: Flu shots available at drop-in clinic

Craig Daily Press Staff Report

— Flu cases are increasing in Colorado, and it's not too late to get your vaccine.

Drop in flu clinics will be held from 8:30 to noon Tuesday at the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association in Craig.

Flu clinics also are held from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. every Thursday at the VNA in Craig.

The vaccine is $21.50 for adult and children's flu shots and for children's Flu Mist. Insurance will be processed; please bring your insurance cards. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to become effective. For more information, call 970-824-8233.

Problems encountered enrolling for health insurance; help available at VNA

Some people are encountering problems enrolling in health insurance through the Connect for Health website, according to the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association.

If you are having problems, please send an email to: help@sc.connectforhealthco.com with your name, phone number and account number as it appears in your application. Do not list any medical or personal information.

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Monday is the deadline to enroll in health insurance for it to be effective Jan. 1, but if you have encountered an error, this deadline may be extended.

Help is also available during a drop-in Open Enrollment session on from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday at the VNA in Craig, located at 745 Russell Street.

A certified health coverage guide and health insurance broker from Western Slope Health Insurance, LLC will be available to answer questions about health insurance or to assist individuals in enrolling or renewing applications. No appointment is necessary.

The VNA is also offering free appointments to help people find the best plan and qualify for tax credits. To schedule an appointment, call 970-824-8233 or schedule online at http://www.nwcovna.org/healthinsurance.php.

Animated video sheds light on health insurance premiums

The Colorado Division of Insurance released an animated video Thursday using humor and a big green monster to help individuals and families understand how health care costs impact their health insurance premiums, according to a press release from the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.

"The biggest factor in raising the price of your premium is the cost of healthcare," said the video's narrator. "As the cost of drug research, medical procedures, prescriptions and diagnostics go up, so does your premium."

The video was made in part to dispel misconceptions that the DOI sets insurance premiums, the press release said. The video also emphasizes that consumers need not be passive when it comes to what kind of care they choose to receive.

"No one should avoid treatment, but it's good to find out about options," DOI Commissioner Marguerite Salazar said. "We want people to know that they can impact health care costs by asking questions."

Both English and Spanish versions can be viewed at dora.colorado.gov/insurance.

Free flu shots available to veterans

Veterans can receive flu shots at no cost at the Major William Adams Telehealth Clinic in Craig, located at 785 Russell St. Shots are available on a walk-in basis from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

In some cases, the veteran's private insurance may be billed. Proof of military service is required.

The flu season in the United States typically follows trends similar to the Australian flu season, which is just concluding, according to a press release from the Grand Junction Veterans Affairs Medical Center. To date, Australia has confirmed nearly twice as many cases of influenza as last year.