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HCCCC, Center Township team up to offer insurance help

BY SHARON BARDONNER - sbardonner@ftimes.com

Now is the time for open enrollment for employer healthcare coverage and the federal Marketplace, and there is help in Clinton County to understand your options easier.

Healthy Communities of Clinton County Coalition, with the help of Center Township, is participating in Covering Kids & Families of Indiana, a statewide nonprofit that helps Hoosiers understand and sign up for Indiana and federal healthcare coverage programs.

“Just like the oil in your car, it is important to check your healthcare coverage status and make sure you are ready for the road and any healthcare needs,” said Susan Jo Thomas, executive director of CKF-IN. “Healthcare coverage – insurance – can be confusing for consumers. We want Hoosiers to know help is available.”

Covering Kids & Families is alerting Hoosiers that Medicaid, Hoosier Healthwise, Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) have year around enrollment for individuals not already covered.

Also, starting this year, HIP is offeing consumers the opportunity to change their health plans between now and December 15 regardless of when they enrolled or the date of their recertification.

Enrollment in the federal Marketplace is also underway during the same time period – now until Dec. 15 – with coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

Individuals and families who do not have healthcare coverage or have questions can receive free, unbiased assistance from Covering Kids & Families of Indiana located at Healthy Communities of Clinton County, 1458 Oak St., Suite B, Frankfort. 

HCCCC also has bi-lingual navigators on staff to help people better understand the healthy plans available to them.

Evans receives Community Leadership Award

Kevin Evans, Clinton County Center Township trustee, was awarded a Community Leadership Award by CKF-IN at the organization’s Annual Meeting and Award Luncheon on Tuesday.

The midday program featured Dr. M. Joycelyn Elders, 15th U.S. Surgeon General and first African American woman to hold the post, who presented “Making a Difference for all Children and Families.” Also as part of the program, CKF-IN recognized the efforts of local coalitions and celebrated a year of successes including expanding from 55 to 80 counties – a 45 percent increase.

According to a release from CKF-IN, the Community Leadership Award recognizes an exemplary partner who serves as a model for effective practices, leadership, dependability, innovativeness, teamwork, and commitment to improving health care access and outcomes. This year, two recipients were recognized – Evans and the Volunteer Center of Fort Wayne.

As Center Township trustee and in collaboration with Healthy Communities of Clinton County Coalition, Evans showed leadership, teamwork, innovativeness and dependability helping with the launch of the CKF program by Healthy Communities of Clinton County Coalition, CFK-IN said.

Covering Kids & Families also presented the Governor Frank O’Bannon Memorial Kids First Award that recognizes an individual who has exhibited leadership in improving statewide policies and processes, commitment to CKF-IN’s mission, and who serves as a champion for the health of Hoosiers.

The 2017 award went to Dr. Jennifer Walthall, secretary of the Family & Social Service Administration. Both in her former role as deputy health commissioner and director for Health Outcomes and her current role as secretary of FSSA, Walthall has been an advocate for healthcare coverage for Hoosiers. Within FSSA, she has helped improve policies and procedures while adding value to coverage.