Craig health briefs for Sept. 27, 2014: Event to provide safe disposal of prescription drugs | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig health briefs for Sept. 27, 2014: Event to provide safe disposal of prescription drugs

Craig Daily Press Staff Report

The Craig Police Department and Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide volunteers will participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day with an event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the Centennial Mall parking lot in Craig. The event will provide an opportunity for individuals with unwanted and unused prescription drugs to safely dispose of them.

Nationally, more than 4.1 million pounds of medications have been collected during the past six events, with an excess of 127,400 pounds collected in Colorado.

The collection is limited to household waste and excludes chemotherapy or radioactive substances, syringes, mercury (thermometers), oxygen containers, pressurized canisters or illicit drugs.

TMH to host meet-and-greet for new family medicine physician

The Memorial Hospital welcomes a new provider to its clinic staff next month, Elise Sullivan, M.D., who will be available to meet members of the community from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the TMH Medical Clinic. As a family medicine physician, Sullivan also will be providing limited obstetric services. She is bilingual, and her first day accepting new patients will be Oct. 7.

Presentation for parents will inform on respiratory illnesses in kids

TMH pediatrician Christie Yarmer, M.D., will host a community education presentation for parents from 6 to 7 p.m. Oct. 8 in the TMH conference rooms. She will discuss respiratory illness in kids and what symptoms to watch for.

Colorado Division of Insurance approves 2015 health insurance rates

The Colorado Division of Insurance approved 1,072 health insurance plans from 20 carriers that offer health coverage to consumers and small businesses for 2015. The wide range of plans indicate that Colorado has a competitive health insurance market compared to other states, according to Colorado Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar in a news release Monday from the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies. Statewide, average premiums will increase 1.18 percent over 2014 rates. However, due to redefined geographic rating areas in the state, which help insurance carriers price premiums, individual plans in the West rating area will see an average premium decrease of 7.44 percent. This includes the mountain areas within Colorado, excepting Mesa County.

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"We are encouraged to see carriers such as Anthem and the Colorado Health-Op working with healthcare providers in the mountain areas to develop more affordable insurance options for 2015," said Salazar.

With so many choices, it is important for consumers to compare plans and look at more than just the premiums before making their decision. For example:

• Is your doctor or hospital of choice included in the plan's provider network? Seeing an out-of-network doctor typically is more expensive.

• Lower premiums often mean higher costs when receiving care. Find out if there is a deductible and how much it is, as well as the out-of-pocket maximum. Determine what you would have to pay for a doctor's visit.

• Find out about prescription coverage, especially if you need specific medications.

• Does the plan cover procedures you may need some day, such as back surgery, ambulance service, MRI scans or knee replacement?

• Consumers who have questions about their current plans should contact their insurance carrier, Connect for Health Colorado, their insurance broker or their employer.

More information about the approved 2015 plans is available online at http://www.dora.colorado.gov/healthinsurance.