Health briefs: Lunch series speakers to discuss Affordable Care Act

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— A new educational lunch series aims to focus on the Affordable Care Act and its impact on local businesses.

The series — which will be presented by Yampa Valley Medical Center, the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association and Wells Fargo — will kick off at noon Friday at the Colorado Mountain College auditorium. 

Speakers, including insurance broker Lockton Companies Vice President Eric Hirschberg and Colorado Health Institute CEO Michelle Lueck, will discuss policy issues related to the Affordable Care Act, the health insurance exchange, Medicaid expansion, employer options, preventative care and the cost curve, according to a news release. The speakers also will be available to answer questions.

“As a leading health care organization in the region, we are happy to host this luncheon series,” Yampa Valley Medical Center CEO Frank May said. “Health care reform is upon us, and we want to help individuals and community businesses understand the ramifications of the changes that are coming.”

The lunch is free for Chamber members and $20 for nonmembers. Lunch is provided by Colorado Mountain College catering. Registration is available at www.eventbrite.com/event/8740580311.

The series continues Dec. 13 with the Affordable Care Act’s impact on businesses and Jan. 17 with a presentation about integrated and mental health. 

Tax benefits available to small businesses through Connect for Health Colorado

Small businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees can use the Connect for Health Colorado marketplace to qualify for tax benefits for insuring a small business. Employees can use pretax dollars to pay their share of the premiums, and businesses that qualify will get a tax credit of up to 50 percent of the businesses' cost of the premiums, according to a news release from the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association. For small businesses that enroll between Nov. 15 and Dec. 15, there is no participation requirement for employees. To learn more, contact the VNA at 970-871-7647 or assistroutt@nwcovna.org.   

Support groups to meet this week

• A Parkinson's support group meets at 4:30 p.m. Monday at the United Methodist Church of Steamboat Springs, 736 Oak St. For more information, call 970-875-1088.

• A cancer support group meets from noon to 1 p.m. Friday at Yampa Valley Medical Center's Integrated Health, 3001 S. Lincoln Ave. The group is for those with cancer to learn techniques to manage stress and create a holiday plan. For more information, call Sara Ross at 970-875-2731.

Real Food series continues with plant-based eating

The Real Food series continues with "Plant-Based Healthy Holidays" from noon to 1 p.m. Dec. 4 at Yampa Valley Medical Center's Conference Room 1, 1024 Central Park Drive. The program about how to make healthy food choices for the holidays will be presented by Dr. Charlie Petersen and registered dietician Cara Marrs. Register by calling 970-875-2546.

VNA hosts free cardiovascular screenings

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association provides free screenings including total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides, blood glucose and body mass index at the following locations:

Monday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the VNA office, 940 Central Park Drive, Suite 101

Tuesday: 4 to 6 p.m. at Steamboat Springs High School, 45 Maple St.

Make an appointment by calling 970-871-7634.

Health insurance marketplace meetings scheduled

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association is hosting a series of free information sessions to answer questions about the new health insurance marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado. A health coverage guide will attend the meetings for individuals, families and small-business owners interested in learning about their options for health insurance under new the legislation. The meeting dates are as follows:

Monday: 1 to 3 p.m. at LIFT-UP of Routt County, 2125 Curve Ct.

Tuesday: 4 to 6 p.m. at the Haven Community Center, 300 S. Shelton Lane, Hayden

Nov. 18: 1 to 3 p.m. at LIFT-UP of Routt County

Nov. 19: 4 to 6 p.m. at the Haven Community Center

Nov. 25: 1 to 3 p.m. at LIFT-UP of Routt County

Nov. 26: 4 to 6 p.m. at the Haven Community Center

For more information, call 970-871-7638.

Open enrollment for Medicare Part D lasts through Dec. 7

Open enrollment for Medicare Part D is through Dec. 7. Medicare beneficiaries are able to change plans during this time. Seniors should review their prescription drug plan and make sure it works with the prescriptions they are taking, said Betsy Packer, Routt County Council on Aging’s counselor and coordinator for the Colorado State Health Insurance Assistance Program.

The following open enrollment meeting will be held in Routt County:

Thursday: 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at Bud Werner Memorial Library

Seniors are asked to bring their prescription bottles. For more information or to register, call 970-819-6937.

To submit a health brief, email happenings@SteamboatToday.com.

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