Newspaper Archive of
N. Warren Town and County News
Norwalk, Iowa
November 30, 2017     N. Warren Town and County News
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November 30, 2017

Newspaper Archive of N. Warren Town and County News produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
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Page Ten N/Warren Town and County News Thursday, November 30, 2017 Take Charge America Launches Online Credit Counseling Service National nonprofit credit counseling and debt management agency Take Charge America, Inc. has launched an online program to provide consumers in all 50 states with convenient, 24/7 access to credit counseling services. Traditionally offered over the phone, the free, confidential service assesses an individual's debt, income, assets and expenses in order to develop a personalized budget, credit report summary and action plan for paying off or eliminating credit card debt. To start a free session, consumers can access the portal at https:// cc.takechargeamerica.org. They can register for an account and save their progress, returning to complete the service when it's convenient. The entire process typically takes 20 minutes or less. Upon completion, Take Charge America instantly provides an overview of debt repayment options, detailing how each works and which is ideal based on individual life circumstances. "Some 30 years ago, we pioneered credit counseling over the phone and have since helped more than two million people nationwide pay off and manage their personal debts," said Ted Engel, business development director with Take Charge America. "Taking this valuable service online enables us to reach even more people in a manner that they prefer. Our online credit counseling service represents the future of the industry." For those who prefer it, Take Charge America will continue to offer credit counseling over the phone. Certified credit counselors are also available to assist consumers as they navigate the online system. For more information, visit the Take Charge America site to start a free credit counseling session, or call (888) 822-9193. .......... : :=!::=i= .~.•..?~ i=::i:~ .~.:-~- ~::: i~.~..~,::: ~: :..i. i " '" ::-": ....... 2018 Health Insurance Enrollment Deadline Approaches Open enrollment began November 1st and ends December 15th for Iowans purchasing or changing their individual health coverage to become effective January 1, 2018. "There has been a lot of news recently about Iowa's individual insurance market. As the open enrollment season begins, Iowans should thoroughly research all coverage options. I would encourage consumers to meet with a licensed insurance agent to determine the best plan for themselves and their families," Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen said. "For 2018, Iowans purchasing their own insurance through the individual market will have one option, Medica, available through healthcare.gov." During open enrollment, Iowans may call 1-800-318-2596 or visit HealthCare.gov for information regarding enrollment and to calculate applicable tax credits. HealthCare.gov is the only official government website selling health insurance and buyers should beware of imitation websites. Local insurance agents, navigators, and certified application counselors around the state are available to help Iowans review which insurance plan may best fit their needs. Iowans can find local help by visiting https:/! localhelp.HealthCare.gov/. Most Iowans access healthcare in one of three ways: • Employer-Sponsored: A majority of Iowans participate in a group health insurance plan offered by their employer. This includes employees of large and small private companies, federal, state, and local government employees, and active military. Consumers in a small business should talk to a licensed insurance agent to discuss all available coverage options. • Public Programs: Roughly 1.2 million Iowans receive healthcare benefits through Medicare and Medicaid. • Individually-Purchased: In 2017, approximately 153,000 Iowans purchase health insurance on their own. Nearly 48,000 people in this segment purchased insurance through the online health exchanges. An additional 105,000 Iowans purchased insurance either through the ACA offexchange, grandfathered, or transitional policies. Under each category, there are important developments and information consumers should keep in mind as open enrollment begins: Individually-Purchased Health Insurance -The 2018 healthcare.gov open enrollment period is November 1 through December 15, 2017. Coverage begins January 1, 2018. Consumers can begin researching options at any time. • Medica is the sole carrier offering individual health insurance plans for 2018. • If you currently have coverage through the exchange and do not choose a plan for 2018 by the end of open enrollment, you will be re-enrolled in a similar plan offered by Medica. Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance • If you're already covered by an employer-sponsored plan, pay close attention to your enrollment options this year. Premiums and coverage limits may have changed. • If you're changing jobs, you may be subject to a probationary period, up to 90 days, during which you are not eligible for group coverage. • If you lost coverage from a previous employer, you typically have 60 days to enroll in private individual insurance through healthcare.gov under a Special Enrollment Period. If you have recently lost a job and access to employer-based insurance, you and your dependents may be eligible for continuation coverage under COBRA. • Consumers in a small business should talk to a licensed insurance agent to discuss all available coverage options. Public Healthcare Pro ams • Medicare is a federally funded program available to most U.S. citizens and permanent legal residents age 65 or older who have lived continuously in the country for at least five years. People younger than 65 also may be eligible for Medicare if they are disabled, suffer from kidney failure, or ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). If you have questions about enrolling in Medicare, you can contact Iowa's Senior Health Insurance Information Program at http:// therightcalliowa.gov or call 1-800-351-4664. • Medicare open enrollment for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug coverage (Part D) takes place from October 15 through December 7, 2017. If you miss the deadline and didn't experience a qualifying event, you can apply later, though you will have to pay a premium penalty. • High-income earners (above $133,500) may see increases in 2018 Medicare Part B premiums. Enrollees should contact Medicare for an estimate and plan accordingly. • Medicaid is jointly funded by federal and state governments. Eligibility is means-based with state-based income requirements. To see if you and your family are eligible for Medicaid, please visit the Iowa Department of Human Services at dhsservices.iowa.gov or call 1-855-889-7985. Let's Get Acquainted Iowa Vdubs Repair 7933 Hwy 28 Unit C, Prole, IA 50229 • 515-996-4741 iowavdubsrepair@gmail.com • www.iowavdubsrepair.com We service all vehicles but specialize in German vehicles especially Volkswagon. We have 37 years experience. Brake Special thru Dec 31st 15% off any brake work parts + labor ................... " ............. Free brake inspection iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Oil changes from $19.95 Norwalk residents receive 10-20% off select services and repairs thru Nov! COLD DRAFTY WINDOWS & D OORS ...? . DON'T LET YOUR $$$ GO OUT THE WINDOWS, GIVE US A CALL/WE CAN HELP e-mail IOWA LUMBER & CONSTRUCTION 104 1st Street West Des Moines, IA 255-1200 us at iowalumber@mchsi.com