Craig health briefs for Nov. 15, 2014: Open enrollment for 2015 health insurance plans begins Saturday | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig health briefs for Nov. 15, 2014: Open enrollment for 2015 health insurance plans begins Saturday

Craig Daily Press Staff Report

To compare health plans, visit Connect For Health Colorado at http://connectforhealthco.com.

Open enrollment ends Feb. 15, however, to receive coverage beginning Jan. 1 or to change your existing plan, you must complete your enrollment by Dec. 15.

For assistance in finding the best plan for you and learning if you qualify for tax credits, make an appointment with the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association by calling 970-824-8233 or by scheduling online at http://www.nwcovna.org/healthinsurance.php.

Appointments can also be scheduled with a health coverage guide at the following times and locations throughout the open enrollment period:

• From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays at Mind Springs Health in Craig

• From noon to 4 p.m. Tuesdays at The Memorial Hospital in Craig

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Medicare assistance available in Craig

Medicare enrollees in Craig and surrounding areas can receive guidance and get questions answered regarding their Medicare options from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Colorado Northwestern Community College Bell Tower, 50 College Drive in Craig.

Individual assistance with Medicare will be offered by counselors from the State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP, administered by the Colorado Division of Insurance. SHIP offers unbiased counseling and educational services to help seniors and people with disabilities make informed decisions about health insurance.

Medicare open enrollment started Oct. 15, and lasts until Dec. 7. During open enrollment, seniors and disabled people can compare Medicare benefits for the next year and change their prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage Plan.

Even if people are happy with the plans they have, it's important to review options, because there may be a better plan out there.

Assistance also is available by calling SHIP at 1-888-696-7213 to be connected to SHIP counselors in your area, or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Memorial Hospital to host quarterly “What to Expect” presentation

Expecting moms and dads are invited to The Memorial Hospital from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday for an informational session hosted by TMH physicians.

The session is intended to inform future parents about what to expect when giving birth, and the format will provide an opportunity to ask questions, meet other expecting parents and tour TMH's new birthing center.

Other topics to be covered include car seats and infant massage.

REPS seeks volunteers and offers training

Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide will host a volunteer meeting at noon Wednesday at Colorado Northwestern Community College. New volunteers are welcome. For more information, call 970-846-8182.

REPS will also offer an ASIST suicide prevention training from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 2 and 3 at the Congregational Church in Hayden. The training is open to the public and registration is free.

To register, call 970-810-2232.

VNA offers free diabetes screenings

Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association will provide free diabetes screenings from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday at 745 Russell St. in Craig.

Screenings include total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides, blood glucose, blood pressure and body mass index Appointments are required.

Recent estimates project that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take steps to stop diabetes.

Call 970-875-1880 to make an appointment.

Great American Smokeout offers chance to quit smoking

The Great American Smokeout is Thursday, a day specially designated by the American Cancer Society to encourage people to quit smoking.

"By quitting — even for one day — smokers will be taking an important step towards a healthier life, one that can lead to reducing cancer risk," the ACS said on its website.

The Colorado QuitLine offers free personalized cessation phone support: Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW. SmokefreeTXT is a mobile service providing encouragement and tips to help young smokers quit for good. To sign up, text QUIT to IQUIT (47848) or go to http://www.smokefree.gov.

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association offers free counseling with a tobacco cessation specialist in Steamboat Springs or Craig. To be connected with a Cessation Counselor in Craig, call 970-871-7696.

Yampa Valley Medical Center earns awards

Yampa Valley Medical Center announced Friday that it has been recognized with two prestigious healthcare industry awards.

The hospital received 2013 "Top Performer on Key Quality Measures" awarded by the Joint Commission and also was recognized with a 2014 Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award for exceptional patient experience.

The Joint Commission is the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the United States while Press Ganey and Associates is the nation's leading health care performance improvement company, partnering with more than 11,000 health care facilities.

The Top Performer is awarded for performance on evidence-based interventions that increase the chances of healthy outcomes for patients with certain conditions. The Press Ganey award recognizes top-performing facilities that consistently achieve in the top 5 percent of all hospitals working with Press Ganey in categories such as patient experience, clinical quality, employee engagement, and physician engagement.