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Roadwork to begin in Phillips/Smith counties -4/18/2014, 4:45 PM

Enjoying high school memories -4/16/2014, 10:27 AM

New ponies, warmer weather welcome in spring -4/15/2014, 8:47 AM

Coping strategies, including healthy eating, can reduce stress -4/13/2014, 9:46 AM

Winners chosen for Hays art exhibition -4/10/2014, 12:12 PM

Putting parent burn-out into perspective -4/10/2014, 11:08 AM

-4/8/2014, 8:35 AM

Many factors can cause stress in families, including divorce, death -4/4/2014, 9:23 AM

God brings life to dry bones -4/4/2014, 8:27 AM

Aging issues addressed in April Extension programs -4/3/2014, 9:51 AM

Quilting, eighth-grade activities make up Eicher family time -4/1/2014, 9:15 AM

Many stressors exist in several types of families in United States -3/31/2014, 10:11 AM

Power of vegetables and fruits -3/27/2014, 8:46 AM

A few more expensive pinot noirs, but ones well worth the cash -3/25/2014, 9:27 AM

Early start to morning leads to busy day for Eicher family -3/25/2014, 9:27 AM

Families need to find proper ways to deal with stress -3/23/2014, 9:20 AM

Birthday -3/19/2014, 9:19 AM

Trichomoniasis in cattle herds increasing -3/15/2014, 12:07 PM

Wines and consumer behavior -3/11/2014, 3:03 PM

Propane refill hits budget; hog butchering on tap -3/11/2014, 3:03 PM

Workplace, workforce sees changes through decades -3/10/2014, 9:56 AM

The Church is called to reflect Jesus outside of church -3/7/2014, 3:49 PM

Extension workshop features estate planning -3/6/2014, 3:49 PM

Enhance employee wellness with Walk Kansas -3/5/2014, 3:49 PM

Change your clocks, smoke alarm batteries -3/4/2014, 3:49 PM

Winter blues continue for Eicher family -3/4/2014, 1:53 PM

KDOT announces approved February bids -3/3/2014, 4:28 PM

K-23 pavement replacement project to begin -3/3/2014, 4:19 PM

Celtic guitarist Barlow performing at library -3/2/2014, 4:10 PM

Walk Kansas program offers health benefits -3/2/2014, 12:08 PM

Reflections on my 5 years in Hays -2/28/2014, 7:54 AM

Preserving the Family planning event March 14 -2/27/2014, 3:49 PM

Nex-Tech hosting Tech Edge Conference in June -2/27/2014, 4:28 PM

-2/27/2014, 7:54 AM

Student graphic designs featured in exhibit -2/26/2014, 3:49 PM

Remembering snow days -2/25/2014, 8:26 AM

Adjustment period can take time in step-families -2/24/2014, 11:21 AM

Birthdays -2/24/2014, 11:21 AM

Extension offers financial planning programs -2/20/2014, 9:56 AM

FHSU alum to host pitch fundraiser -2/20/2014, 9:56 AM

Program to focus on parenting teenagers -2/20/2014, 9:56 AM

Snow continues to pile up for Eichers as they hope for warmth -2/18/2014, 4:44 PM

Business Briefcase (Feb. 16, 2014) -2/16/2014, 2:53 PM

To strengthen relationships, celebrate success -2/14/2014, 10:04 AM

Sternberg Museum to offer summer camps -2/13/2014, 4:00 PM

Natoma girl promotes state program -2/13/2014, 4:00 PM

Hansen Museum displays students' artwork -2/13/2014, 4:00 PM

Hays Symphony showcases 3 young artists -2/13/2014, 4:00 PM

Hays Eagle Scout earns award -2/13/2014, 4:00 PM

'The Lego Movie' has all the right pieces -2/11/2014, 10:23 AM

Cold makes for long days for Eichers -2/4/2014, 4:23 PM

Divorce can have dramatic effect on children -2/3/2014, 10:13 AM

Whitetail agent has message -2/2/2014, 4:00 PM

Hays native wins award at bioscience symposium -1/30/2014, 11:26 AM

Be aware of earned income tax credit -1/30/2014, 11:26 AM

Learning to make the most of every day in 2014 -1/29/2014, 10:00 AM

'I, Frankenstein' a monstrously bad movie -1/28/2014, 10:15 AM

Snow still piling up for Eicher family; vacation time extended -1/28/2014, 8:54 AM

Adaptability, self-regulation key for divorcing parties -1/27/2014, 9:59 AM

God gives us gifts, wants us to share with others -1/24/2014, 11:16 AM

Celebration Church announces new series service -1/24/2014, 11:16 AM

'Jack Ryan' lays new foundation -1/21/2014, 10:01 AM

Eicher family rings in New Year in style -1/21/2014, 8:48 AM

Seeding to begin on I-70 in Sherman County -1/17/2014, 5:39 PM

The memories behind a bottle of wine -1/14/2014, 9:27 AM

Eichers gather as one big family for holiday -1/14/2014, 9:27 AM

Process of divorce can leave families in limbo at times -1/13/2014, 10:15 AM

KDA creates easy-to-follow guidelines for farmers, ranchers -1/8/2014, 3:34 PM

Eichers busy during holiday season -1/7/2014, 8:18 AM

Kansas online tax filing now available through KS WebFile -1/6/2014, 4:22 PM

Rep. Huelskamp announces military academy nominations -1/6/2014, 2:42 PM

Traveling Lincoln Exhibition coming to Hays library -1/6/2014, 2:24 PM

Whatever happened to Amelia Earhart? -1/6/2014, 2:24 PM

Divorce, remarriage can have drastic outcome on development -1/6/2014, 3:41 PM

Commerce Bank names O'Connor market president -1/3/2014, 2:02 PM

Fatalities on Kansas' roads hit all-time low in 2013 -1/3/2014, 10:15 AM

Dreams abound for a happy, peaceful new year in 2014 -1/1/2014, 12:45 PM

Kansas ends 2013 on target -12/31/2013, 3:02 PM

Remarriage, divorce can change family structure significantly -12/30/2013, 9:08 AM

Business Briefcase (Dec. 29, 2013) -12/29/2013, 1:56 PM

Reflections on all that made my Christmas merry -12/25/2013, 11:37 AM

'American Hustle,' 'Anchorman 2' worth seeing -12/24/2013, 9:10 AM

Instability in many forms can hamper family development -12/23/2013, 9:39 AM

Bridge replacement project to start on K-27 in Wallace County -12/23/2013, 8:30 PM

Business Briefcase (Dec. 22, 2013) -12/22/2013, 11:19 AM

Management minute -- Mentoring 101 -12/22/2013, 11:18 AM

Hibbett Sports prepares for new location -12/22/2013, 11:18 AM

Another year's FHSU graduates find 95-percent rate of success in jobs, advanced study -12/20/2013, 11:42 AM

Public record, Dec. 20, 2013 -12/20/2013, 10:42 AM

What the Bible says: Is it really OK to OMG? -12/20/2013, 10:05 AM

FUMC to host night service -12/20/2013, 10:04 AM

Nex-Tech Wireless hosts annual holiday toy drive -12/19/2013, 10:04 AM

Holiday traditions build strong families -12/19/2013, 10:04 AM

Public record, Dec. 18, 2013 -12/18/2013, 10:42 AM

'The Desolation of Smaug' shows improvement -12/17/2013, 11:28 AM

Business Briefcase (Dec. 15, 2013) -12/15/2013, 3:20 PM

Chamber schedules events -12/13/2013, 8:50 AM

Utility, bank establish training program -12/11/2013, 8:07 AM

Excerpts honoring America's veterans -12/11/2013, 8:46 AM

'12 Years a Slave' intimate, powerful -12/10/2013, 10:09 AM

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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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