Indianapolis- Hoosiers have less than a week until open enrollment begins for the Indiana Health Insurance Marketplace. The Indiana Hospital Association and the Indiana Primary Health Care Association, Inc. are preparing to help uninsured Hoosiers learn about and apply for the new health care coverage program operated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).Beginning Oct. 1, the Health Insurance Marketplace will allow eligible Hoosiers to compare health insurance options and enroll in a plan that meets both their needs and their budget. The six-month open enrollment period will run from Oct.1 until March 31, 2014, with the official launch of healthcare coverage through the marketplace beginning Jan.1, 2014.Eligibility is generally available to middle-income people under age 65 who are not covered for health care benefits through their employer, Medicaid, or Medicare. All plans must cover doctor visits, hospital stays, preventive care and prescriptions, and no one can be denied coverage if they have a pre-existing condition. Low-cost plans and financial help is available to Hoosiers based on annual income through tax credits.According to IHA President Doug Leonard, numerous statewide organizations have been aligning resources to help prepare for the enrollment.“Hospitals and other groups throughout the state are looking for ways to educate people as we move forward with enrollment over the course of the next six months,” said Leonard. “A clear understanding of the resources available to the public is of the utmost importance so that Hoosiers can select an insurance plan that best meets their budget and their health care needs.”Approximately 880,000 Hoosiers under the age of 65 do not have health insurance, an alarming fact that groups like the Indiana Primary Health Care Association, Inc. are hoping the new Health Insurance Marketplace will be able to address.“This is a critical time for statewide organizations to join in a collaborative effort to assist Indiana residents in achieving affordable health care, while improving the overall health and well-being of our state,” said Philip Morphew, CEO of the Indiana Primary Health Care Association, Inc. “Any organization – big or small – can play an important role in encouraging patients to enroll in new coverage options made available by the Indiana Health Insurance Marketplace.”To enroll in the Indiana Health Insurance Marketplace beginning Oct. 1, or for more information about Indiana health care eligibility, Hoosiers can access healthcare.gov.
CANYON COUNTRY – What began as a stint on a local school improvement council more than 17 years ago has evolved into a passion for one Canyon Country man who will now help shape national education policies. Kerry Clegg was elected to the National School Board Association last week and will serve as one of three directors representing the Pacific region. The nationwide organization lobbies Congress on issues from No Child Left Behind to funding for public schools. The 58-year-old first got into education through a committee under the local PTA to stay in touch with the Sulphur Springs Union School District in Canyon Country where his five children eventually attended. He’s now serving his fifth term on its school board. “It’s been a fascinating experience to get involved and try to make local education more effective,” Clegg said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventHis focus these days lies in two areas – science and career-technical education. Both could use a boost in high schools to make students more competitive with the rest of the world, he said. Clegg, who grew up during the Cold War, said his high school and college years were heavily influenced by science education. But he doesn’t see the subject making the same impression on students today, in part because graduation requirements and instructional time have been cut back over the years, due to both a lack of teachers and overcrowded schools. He saw this with his three sons who, during their senior years in high school, had only three or four academic classes on their schedules, because they had already fulfilled their graduation requirements. But he said that was no excuse for not taking more rigorous class loads. He wants to see students spending more time in the classroom and taking more years of science, math and foreign language before graduation. “They don’t realize that when competing against China, the kids there go to school from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day,” he said. “That’s what we’re competing with, yet our kids are not doing the same level of instructional time.” With his other concentration on career-technical education, Clegg said there needs to be improvements to they way it’s taught in high school, and that it’s been overlooked in schools for too long. “It leads to computer technology, water-engineering technology – even the construction industry is not low-tech anymore,” he said. [email protected] (661)257-5254160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!