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Marketplace Navigator program available to answer insurance questions

Health insurance can be difficult to understand, residents no longer have to feel that they are alone in the challenge. If you have questions about health insurance or need to enroll, Health Insurance Navigators are available to help year-round.

Last year the City of Garden City was awarded funding to make this service available to the Wayne County community. The Health Insurance Marketplace Navigator program's mission is to assist residents with enrolling in a health plan that fits their budget and best meets their family's needs.

The City of Garden City, the City of Dearborn Heights and Westland have joined together to help the residents of their communities get the health insurance coverage they need. The services are housed in a variety of municipal buildings in the three communities; in Garden City at the Maplewood Community Center, in Dearborn Heights at the Eton Senior Center and the City Hall, and in Westland at the City Hall and the Jefferson Barns Community Vitality Center.

Navigators are available to assist residents on a walk-in or by appointment basis. Navigators are trained specialists who provide residents with in-person help, answering their questions about health insurance and financial assistance options, as well as assisting them as they complete the application.

Navigators are knowledgeable about the range of health plans available on HealthCare.gov, as well as other public health insurance programs offered in their state, including Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Navigators are also qualified to assist small businesses in selecting affordable, qualified health plans they can offer to their employees. Most small businesses are eligible for a tax credit when they purchase a portion of their employees' health insurance through healthcare.gov. After the employer decides chooses a plan, our trained Navigators will work each employee to enroll them and their family.

Navigators help make the process simple by guiding residents to make educated healthcare decisions. Residents can compare plans side-by-side based on price, benefits, quality, and other features important to them, which is helpful if they have specific health care needs. Every health plan in the Marketplace offers the same set of essential health benefits, including doctor visits, preventive care, hospitalization, prescriptions, and more. Plans can offer other benefits like vision, dental or medical management programs for a specific disease or condition.

Navigators will work alongside the resident from coverage to care, in effort to make sure that they are not just covered but have found a doctor and have begun to access services.

Navigators are available to help and are waiting to work with you. All you need to do is give us a call or just stop in one of five locations:

n Westland City Hall, 734-679-7827

n Westland Jefferson Barns Vitality Center, 734-679-7788

n Dearborn Heights City Hall, 734-679-7645

n Dearborn Heights Eton Senior Community Center, 734-679-7833

n Garden City Maplewood Community Center, 734-793-1849

Robert Cox, MSW

Marketplace Navigator Coordinator

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

7347931873



USDA expands barley insurance in NY, helps breweries

The US Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency will expand its conventional barley crop insurance to 13 new counties in New York state this year and an additional 16 counties in 2017.

The new insurance will cover all upstate counties. The RMA will also begin offering coverage for malting barley in four counties in 2017.

Before this announcement, barley crop insurance was available in only 28 New York counties. According to US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, there has been a 72 percent increase in farm-based breweries, cideries and distilleries since 2011.

MORE: Malt houses key to truly NY beer

This growth in craft spirits, ciders and beer has created huge demand for New York-grown barley and other grains.

Expanding crop insurance for barley is an important step to sustain and improve the viability of our farms and connected industries, Gillibrand said in a release.

Gillibrand said that 2,000 acres of malting barley are already being grown in New York. Both Gillibrand and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, hope the increase in insurance coverage spurs more growth in agriculture and related industries.

Under an RMA policy for 2017, if a farmer holds a contract to sell malted barley and suffers a yield loss, the insurance will pay up to 1.85 times of the RMA-established price for barley for that loss.

The insurance is especially helpful when considering the New York State Farm Brewery Act. It was passed in 2012, and streamlined the license process for a lot of breweries. Many in Monroe County, including Fairport, Swiftwater and Lost Borough breweries, operate under the farm brewery license.

The law dictates that a certain percentage of grain and hops used in beer production must be produced in New York. Currently, the law calls for 20 percent of ingredients to be New York-grown. That number jumps to 60 percent in 2019, and will increase to 90 percent by 2024.



Taxpayers, not insurance, to pay for Gage County mistake

Sometime between the wrongful arrests and convictions of six people for the 1985 murder of Helen Wilson and the six suing Gage County officials for putting them in prison, the county switched insurance carriers.



West Virginia Insurance Head Implements Emergency Orders for June Storm Claims

West Virginia Insurance Commissioner Michael Riley has issued several emergency orders to address the response and claims handling process from severe flooding that hit the state June 23.

The three emergency orders signed and dated by Riley on June 28, 2016, apply to insurers operating in the state and include suspending the normal time frame for claims handling and settlement for claims arising from the recent catastrophic weather event.

The orders apply to the 44 counties where West Virginia Gov. Early Ray Tomblin declared a state of emergency, including: Barbour, Boone, Braxton, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Greenbrier, Harrison, Jackson, Kanawha, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Monongalia, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Preston, Putnam, Raleigh, Randolph, Ritchie, Roane, Summers, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt, Wood and Wyoming.

Initial damage assessments released July 1 by state officials said the floods destroyed 1,500 homes, ravaged 125 businesses and caused $36 million in damage to roads. Another 4,000 homes were damaged in the floods. In some areas, homes were swept off their foundations by raging flood waters, with some houses even catching fire. Many homes were filled with feet of muddy water.

In Emergency Order 16-EO-03, Riley suspended the normal time frames and procedures for claims handling and settlement related to the considerable damage caused by significant rainfall, rockslides, mudslides, and flooding to private and public property from the June 23 storm. The new claims rules address the following items:

  • Acknowledgement of notices of claims
  • Answer of inquiries from the insurance commissioner
  • Replies to other pertinent communications
  • Provisions of assistance to first-party claimants
  • Establishment of investigatory procedures
  • Duty after investigation
  • Notice of necessary delay in investigating claims
  • Unreasonable delay

The emergency order remains in effect for claims reported through and including August 15, 2016, unless extended by the commissioner.

The other two emergency orders also address the handling of the significant number of storm claims that insurers should expect to receive from the catastrophic event.

Emergency order 16-EO-04 authorizes the licensing of additional emergency adjusters to meet the demands of the public in the affected counties.

Adjusters must register by letter to the commissioner by the supervising adjuster of insurance company within 20 days of the date on which the non-licensed person is to begin adjusting activity. The registration will be valid for 90 days of the date of the registration letter, but an extension may be requested by the supervising adjuster or insurance company.

The final order, 16-EO-05 relates to the consideration of insurers and insurance-related entities when dealing with matters related to collection of premium, cancellation, nonrenewal, documentation or policy provisions of their customers in the flood-affected counties.

Citizens of this state have suffered and continue to suffer and [insurers, producers and all other insurance related entities subject to regulation in West Virginia] should take such consideration into account when dealing with matters relating to [policies and claims], the commissioner said in his emergency order.

The order notes that those affected by the devastation from the weather event may be unable to receive mail or respond to correspondence, or pay insurance premiums in a timely manner, and may need additional time to act or respond.

Riley ordered an extension of 30 days for insureds to respond to any notices sent or pay premiums due between June 23, 2016 and July 23, 2016. The order does further state that insureds with claims from the June 23 weather event must comply with their obligation to provide information and cooperate in claim adjustment or investigative process related to the claim.

This order remains in effect until July 23.

Complete details of the orders are available on the West Virginia Department of Insurances website.

Related:

  • West Virginia Flood Damages At Least 5K Homes; $10M in FEMA Aid Available
  • Federal Disaster Declared in West Virginia from Historic Flooding, More Rain Expected
  • West Virginias Greenbrier Resort Begins Recovery from Floods, Shelters Victims
  • As Flood Rages on in West Virginia, 2 Missing Campers Found Alive 

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Everything Online Is Connected, Now There's A Growing Need For Cyber Insurance

Cyber insurance has been around for almost a decade, but only now is a popular safeguard against hackers.

Almost every industry, from agriculture to healthcare, is using online data for its services. The so-called Internet of Things (IoT) the network connectivity of everyday objects will lead to new capabilities that could yield a $3 trillion a year economic increase by 2025, according to a McKinsey Report. Businesses have to keep up with the rest of the market and adapt to the online world.

"Cyber Insurance has been around for many years; however, it has been mostly focused on hardware or physical damage as a result of a cybercrime so most companies do not have coverage for data loss even today," Joseph Carson, director of Global Strategic Alliances at Thycotic, a DC-based cybersecurity firm, told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an email.

"With more and more companies becoming dependent on IT and data" there has been "a significant change with data becoming more tangible and having significant monetary value where we have seen the likes of Facebook, Airbnb and Uber becoming multibillion dollar companies almost purely based on information and data," he continued.