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Hydrant flushing begins Friday -3/4/2015, 4:00 PM

Are we strangers in our own homeland or not? -3/4/2015, 9:22 AM

Heartland Community Foundation partners with 16 nonprofit funds for Match Madness -3/3/2015, 2:41 PM

Hays advances to Round 2 of showdown -3/3/2015, 11:47 AM

'Focus' ends up adrift at box office -3/3/2015, 8:38 AM

Gloria changes 'lazy' to 'busy' as she prepares potatoes -3/3/2015, 8:38 AM

Take actions to reduce post-holiday stress -3/2/2015, 9:16 AM

Breeding costs in cow/calf operations have changed -3/1/2015, 4:49 PM

Clubs and meetings (March 1, 2015) -3/1/2015, 3:45 PM

Phillipsburg DCF worker honored by governor -2/27/2015, 4:49 PM

City starting burnout Monday -2/27/2015, 4:31 PM

Hays in running for hometown showdown -2/26/2015, 1:39 PM

Local forum set for March 24 -2/26/2015, 10:29 AM

Sharma advancing MIS surgery for HaysMed -2/26/2015, 9:23 AM

Lenten retreat March 14 in Hays -2/25/2015, 11:50 AM

Spring 2015 continues enrollment growth at FHSU -2/25/2015, 10:57 AM

Rose Garden hosting special event March 9 -2/24/2015, 11:32 AM

Gloria 'Daniel-izes' dessert -2/24/2015, 8:14 AM

Breaks might help post-holiday depression -2/23/2015, 9:55 AM

Upcoming farm bill and grain price projections -2/22/2015, 5:26 PM

Clubs and meetings (Feb. 22, 2015) -2/22/2015, 3:17 PM

Birthday -2/19/2015, 8:59 AM

Extension offers advice for passing down farm or ranch -2/19/2015, 8:59 AM

A smile is friendly magic -2/18/2015, 4:56 PM

'Fifty Shades of Grey' is only slightly painful -2/17/2015, 8:44 AM

An easy-to-make, tasty food treat -2/17/2015, 4:18 PM

There are several ways to deal with post-holiday blues -2/16/2015, 9:22 AM

Kochia control in early spring for fields in wheat -2/15/2015, 2:37 PM

Business Briefcase (Feb. 15, 2015) -2/15/2015, 2:37 PM

Clubs and meetings (Feb. 15, 2015) -2/15/2015, 2:27 PM

A mother-in-law's example of faith shows transformation -2/13/2015, 9:26 AM

Birthday -2/12/2015, 9:08 AM

Elevate your marriage during National Marriage Week -2/12/2015, 9:08 AM

Taking time to have a little laugh during life's busyness -2/11/2015, 8:51 AM

Lions Club convention March 7 in Hays -2/10/2015, 4:10 PM

HaysMed welcomes new pulmonologist -2/10/2015, 1:35 PM

'SpongeBob Movie' is what you make it out to be -2/10/2015, 9:01 AM

Remembering Valentine's Days from years ago -2/9/2015, 10:07 AM

Signs can be revealing while recognizing depression -2/9/2015, 10:06 AM

Clubs and meetings (Feb. 8, 2015) -2/8/2015, 4:26 PM

Business Briefcase (Feb. 8, 2015) -2/8/2015, 3:32 PM

County Extension has farm bill information available -2/8/2015, 3:31 PM

Kansas 4-H Foundation names new president/CEO -2/5/2015, 3:32 PM

Freezer-ready slow-cooker meals can be safe and delicious -2/5/2015, 9:36 AM

Community Bulletin Board (Feb. 5, 2015) -2/5/2015, 8:15 AM

Youngsters look back through generations on KS Day -2/4/2015, 8:15 AM

Dealing with illness, vaccines through the years -2/4/2015, 8:15 AM

'Project Almanac' misallocates its resources -2/3/2015, 9:48 AM

Church services a busy time -2/3/2015, 9:47 AM

Many things can cause post-holiday depression -2/2/2015, 9:13 AM

Business Briefcase (Feb. 1, 2015) -2/1/2015, 4:32 PM

Nex-Tech names a studio space in Hammond Hall on FHSU campus -1/30/2015, 3:47 PM

Castle Rock Casiono Resort submits application for project -1/30/2015, 3:47 PM

Dreiling/Schmidt radiation oncology receives accreditation -1/30/2015, 10:13 AM

Moran gains seat on Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee -1/30/2015, 9:54 AM

Bible is playbook to super life, not Super Bowl, victory -1/30/2015, 8:23 AM

Moran gains seat on Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee -1/29/2015, 2:02 PM

Extension offers regional estate planning workshops -1/29/2015, 9:36 AM

DeBakey Heart Institute sponsoring CPR training -1/28/2015, 1:46 PM

Hays Academy of Hair Designs sweeps competition -1/28/2015, 12:06 PM

Hospital restrictions in place at HaysMed -1/28/2015, 10:25 AM

Battling the flu -1/28/2015, 10:06 AM

Comedian, author Rainn Wilson coming to FHSU -1/27/2015, 1:37 PM

Serving up a unique treat with frogmore stew -1/27/2015, 9:12 AM

DeBakey Heart Institute sponsors coffee, conversation -1/26/2015, 11:04 AM

Many can suffer from seasonal disorders -1/26/2015, 9:50 AM

Clubs and meetings (Jan. 25, 2015) -1/25/2015, 3:05 PM

Winter, spring options for winter annual weed control in wheat -1/25/2015, 3:05 PM

Bishop from Ghana visits area -1/23/2015, 7:47 AM

Eating well while spending less actually is possible -1/22/2015, 9:55 AM

One of 5 finalists for FHSU provost position withdraws -1/21/2015, 11:36 AM

Away from home, and longing to be back in Kansas -1/21/2015, 8:44 AM

New Year babies abound at Rooks County Health -1/20/2015, 1:37 PM

'American Sniper' hits its mark in U.S. theaters -1/20/2015, 9:31 AM

HaysMed leads patient safety program -1/20/2015, 9:22 AM

HaysMed joins trend, expands Point of Service collections -1/19/2015, 1:46 PM

Couture-Lovelady assigned to House Rules Committee -1/19/2015, 11:22 AM

Watch out for effects of post-holiday depression -1/19/2015, 8:38 AM

Save some trouble, get agriculture leases in writing -1/18/2015, 3:14 PM

Clubs and meetings (Jan. 18, 2015) -1/18/2015, 3:13 PM

-1/18/2015, 2:00 PM

Hays to host Western region farmers market conference -1/17/2015, 3:23 PM

Community Bulletin Board (Jan. 17, 2015) -1/17/2015, 3:14 PM

Going crazy with a series of new projects -1/16/2015, 2:09 PM

Nex-Tech acquires Computer Solutions -1/15/2015, 2:01 PM

Senior Companion honored -1/14/2015, 2:49 PM

Lang Diesel donates $1,000 to elementary school -1/13/2015, 2:58 PM

For Your Information (Jan. 13, 2015) -1/13/2015, 1:37 PM

Inside a daughter's mind; making play dough for children -1/13/2015, 9:57 AM

Holidays can be manageable, even as a stepfamily -1/12/2015, 8:47 AM

Community Bulletin Board (Jan. 12, 2015) -1/12/2015, 8:47 AM

Clubs and meetings (Jan. 11, 2015) -1/11/2015, 4:00 PM

Calling all precision agriculture geeks -1/11/2015, 3:51 PM

1st film in series on water to feature Cheyenne Bottoms, KWEC -1/9/2015, 4:27 PM

Female farmers shift production trends -1/9/2015, 4:09 PM

Halls of Ivy -1/9/2015, 4:00 PM

Hays Recreation Commission calendar -1/9/2015, 4:00 PM

Regional farmers market vendor workshop Jan. 30 in Hays -1/8/2015, 9:18 AM

Community Bulletin Board (Jan. 8, 2015) -1/8/2015, 9:18 AM

'Into the Woods' strays from the path -1/6/2015, 9:48 AM

myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
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Seminar will shed light on health care reform

Published on -10/24/2013, 10:09 AM

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The Affordable Care Act (also known as health care reform or Obamacare) was passed into law in March 2010 and upheld by the Supreme Court in July 2012. Some provisions, such as children staying on their parents' insurance up to age 26 and prescription drug discounts to help close the "doughnut hole" for Medicare seniors, started immediately.

The biggest changes under the Affordable Care Act are set to begin Jan. 1. Do you know how the new health care law will affect you?

Plan to attend an informational session at noon Wednesday at the Ellis County Extension office, 601 Main. Enter the rear door from the north parking lot; bring a lunch if desired.

Speakers are three Extension family and consumer sciences agents: Donna Krug, Barton County; Jamie Rathbun, Midway District; and myself. We will attempt to shed some light on the complexities of the Affordable Care Act and provide consumer resources for more information from Kansas State Research and Extension and the Kansas insurance commissioner.

The noon-hour program is free and open to the public. Please pre-register by calling (785) 628-9430 to ensure adequate materials and supplies. A minimum attendance is needed to hold the program.

On Oct. 1, the newest phase of the Affordable Care Act began with the opening of the health insurance marketplace. Now uninsured Kansans will have options for health insurance they've never had before. The marketplace is a new way to find and buy health insurance. Individuals can shop for health insurance that fits their budget. There is financial help for some limited-income individuals and families. There is assistance available to help you choose the best coverage for your needs.

Still, many people are confused about how insurance will change. Those who are already eligible for public programs such as Medicare, Kancare, Tri-Care and the Veterans Administration system will stay in those programs. Most who get health insurance through work will continue to do so. And for those who didn't have health insurance before, or had inadequate or very expensive health insurance, there will be new options to purchase insurance. Health insurance is required; purchasing through the marketplace is not required. However, the marketplace is the only place to get the tax credits and cost-sharing reductions for those with limited incomes.

With the Affordable Care Act, farm families have new options, too. On the whole, farm families have been big purchasers of health insurance. Being insured protects the family farm, but because farming is such a high-risk occupation, premiums and deductibles have been very high.

The Affordable Care Act changes that. The way premiums now will be set cannot factor in costs associated with high-risk occupations nor with pre-existing conditions. The new law makes it more likely that farm families will be able to purchase less-expensive coverage.

Whether you are uninsured, you have been denied coverage in the past, or you just want to explore new options, the new Affordable Care Act Marketplace will give you more choices and control over your health coverage. The 6-month open enrollment period beg ends March 31. If you select a plan by Dec. 15, that plan will begin Jan. 1.

There is more to know so that you can decide what's best for you. Plan to attend Wednesday's informative session at the Ellis County Extension to learn more.

Linda Beech is a Kansas State University Research & Extension agent in Ellis County specializing in family and consumer sciences. lbeech@ksu.edu

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