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Uncovering America's methamphetamine history; PA Early Intervention programs vital for child development; measuring long-term impact of the O.J. Simpson trial on media literacy.

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President Biden's name could be left off the ballot in Alabama and Ohio, the Justice Dept. mandates background checks for gun show purchases, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds moves to allow state police to arrest undocumented migrants.

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Housing advocates fear rural low-income folks who live in aging USDA housing could be forced out, small towns are eligible for grants to enhance civic participation, and North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues.

Open enrollment means researching your healthcare options

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Tuesday, September 26, 2023   

Missourians have plenty of choices when it comes to health insurance coverage - and it's time to gear up for making those decisions. For people on Medicare, and who have Medicare Advantage plans, they can make changes to their coverage beginning October 15th. For people with private insurance, the window for changes opens November 1st. And for employer-sponsored health plans, the dates vary by employer.

Louise Norris, health policy analyst for healthinsurance.org, said it is vital not to let this time slip past without doing some research.

"Not ignore your open enrollment period. Open enrollment is really your chance to sort of fine-tune your coverage," she said. "It's very common to see folks who just ignore it and let their current plan just automatically renew - which obviously you can do, but you might be leaving money on the table."

She added since the expansion of Medicaid, Missourians all have access to health insurance, through Missouri HealthNet. Those who make too much to qualify for Medicaid can receive subsidies to help pay their premiums through healthcare.gov..

Dr. Rhonda Randall, chief medical officer with UnitedHealthcare, said people will do better research if they understand some basic insurance terminology.

"It starts with learning the language. Things like deductibles, copays, coinsurance, premiums, etc. Be familiar with what those terms are, and what the costs associated with each one is, for the plans that you're offered, or the plans that you're considering," Randall explained.

She suggested two resources that UnitedHealthcare has compiled - an online glossary of terms called "Just Plain Clear" and a companion site, "Medicare Made Clear" for people on Medicare.

Disclosure: UnitedHealthcare contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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