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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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January 4, 2017     Hays Free Press
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January 4, 2017
 

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+ + Page 4A Hays Free Press • January 4, 2017 .t BY SAMANTHA SMITH news@haysfreepress.com With the coming of the NewYear many Hays County residents are feeling the pressure to enroll in Marketplace healthcare plans or Medicaid. However, lower income families attempt- ing to obtain health- care through the market place can find it an over- whelm- ing process. Avail- able health- care options for lower income residents and fam- ilies can get con- fusing to navigate, said Kit Abney Spelce, Senior Director of Eligi- bility Services with Com- municare Collaborative, which is jointly owned by Seton family of hospitals, and Central Health. The biggest issue, said Spelce, is that when the Marketplace was created, it was designed to give tax credits to individu- als and families that fall "Health insurance companies continue to raise premiums, and if the government doesn't pay for the tax credits then no one will be able to afford health insurance independently." - Kit Abney Spelce, Senior Director of Eligibility Services with Communicare Collaborative above the poverty level while expanding Med- icaid services to those below the poverty line for affordable healthcare. The hiccup in the design occurred when the state decided it was not going to expand Medicaid services to include families below the poverty line. It meant those fam- ilies aren't eligible for Medicaid, but also aren't eligible for govern- ment tax credits through the Mar- ketplace because they technically qualify for Medicaid services. "The is- sue is that many peo- ple can't get either Medicaid or gov- ernment tax credits through the Mar- ketplace so they have to remain uninsured," Spelce said. Spelce said people who aren't eligible for tax credits through the government to get a Mar- ketplace health plan will not be penalized by the government for not being insured. Even though the intro- duction of the Healthcare Marketplace has been a cause for confusion, the tax credit buffer being paid toward the total premium to insurance companies helps to make health insurance affordable, she said. Spelce said the flaw in the Marketplace Health- care system was that lower income families are less likely to qual- ify for the tax credits, which meant they can't get insured through the Marketplace. "Health insurance companies continue to raise premiums, and if the government doesn't pay for the tax credits then no one will be able to afford health insur- ance independently," Spelce said. The Marketplace healthcare system presents doctors with two separate issues, Spelce said. The first issue is that insurance companies contract with doctors for services and the rates at which those services cost. Doctors will go over their options with different insurance agencies and plans to decide which insurance company will pay them the most for services rendered. The second issue is with Marketplace healthcare plans and not Medicaid programs. Since the Marketplace gives people a 90-day grace period to pay their premium while still covering the cost of services, an individual could keep going to the doctor even after the 90- Continued from pg. 1A risk of accepting Market- "We are going to be BE INFORMED place insurance plans, offering services like But Hays County res- blood testing, vision The free Medical idents have a few more exams, dental exams, Mission at Home event will be held on the options, diabetic foot care and first floor of the Seton Neal Kelley, vice presi- other screening services, of Hays Hospitalin dent and chief operation as well as providing Kyle the entire day on officer at Seton Medical healthcare resources to January 28, 2017. Center Hays, said Com- individuals and families municare clinics offer in need of them" Kelley primary care, outpatient said. day limit without paying and dental services on a Kelley also said that their premium. However, sliding cost scale based the event was most likely if they receive medical on income to residents, going to encompass the treatment after the 90- Kelly also said Hays entire first floor of the days, the cost falls to the County operates a health Seton of Hays hospital doctor, clinic outside of Seton to and that every service Doctors then struggleoffer affordable health- offered at the event is with deciding which care options, free that day. health insurance com-Seton will also host "It's not just about panies are offering the the Ascention's Medical providing care, it's about most compensation forMission at Home event, providing available services, and whetherwhich is a free healthcare resources to people as doctors want to take the event held Jan. 28. well," Kelley said. AT THE New In the Heart of Kyle CORNER OF THE CITY SQUARE Six New Modern Apartments • One bedroom - 840 sf, $1000/month $1000 securfty deposit (water, trash Included) • One and one half bath • Waik-in master shower • Walk-tn master closet • Washer & dryer • Stainless steel appliances * Foam Insulted- double sound demising walls • Plus Quartz counter tops, tenkless hot water heater, high efficient unit, pmwirad tele-comm and TV Six New Offices • 840 sf - asking $2.00 psf gross (water, taxes, cam. insurance, trash) • Move-in ready • White boxed • Foam insulated - double sound dernlslng walls * Metallic epoxy floors • Break area . ADA tearoom • Prewired for tele-~omm data and TV 'i Highly efficient units - low utility bill , Ample parking - ADA accessible 225 Miller Street, Kyle, TX 78640 NOW AVAILABLE FOR LEASING CALL: 512.306.7900 tracted the illness while mosquito-borne Zika vi- traveling to Puerto Rico rus infection in Browns- in August 2016. ville. Additional cases The mosquito that of mosquito-borne Zika carries Zika is native have been identified in to Central Texas. Zika the area, suggesting that virus is transmitted there is a risk of eontin- to persons primarily ued spread of Zika virus through the bite of an in Brownsville, TX. infected mosquito. That On Dec. 14, 2016, the species of mosquito can CDC issued guidance also transmit West Nile related to Zika for people virus, dengue fever and living in or traveling to chikungunya virus, are Brownsville, Cameron aggressive daytime biters counties. and are located near In January 2016, the populated areas. Centers for Disease The most common Control and Prevention symptoms of Zika virus (CDC) posted interim disease are fever, rash, guidelines for health joint pain, and con- care providers in the junctivitis (red eyes). United States caring for The illness is typically pregnant women during mild and lasts about one a Zika virus outbreak. week. During that time, Zika infection in a mosquito that bites an pregnant women may be infected person can car- associated with congen- ry the virus to the next ital microcephaly and person it bites, fetal loss. Guillain-Barre According to the syndrome has also been release, it is critical to reported in patients after follow your health care suspected Zika infection. provider's recommenda- CDC is recommending tion to reduce exposure that all pregnant women to others, consider postponing On Nov. 28, the Texas travel to areas where DSHS reported the Zika virus transmission state's first case of a local is ongoing. What can you do to prevent Preventative measures residents can take to avoid mosquito bites include: Draining any water around their property (mosquitos can breed in as little as a bottle cap full of water) Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants Using EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus (follow directions closely) A link to the guidance can be found at www.cdc.gov/ mmwr/volumes/65/wr/ mm6502e1 .htm. Persons with suspected infections should also be evaluated and managed for possible dengue and chikungunya virus. Aspirin and other NSAID's should be avoided until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of hemorrhage. 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