Search Healthcare.gov for Transitional Health Coverage When Your Term of Service Ends

Your transition to next steps just got ever so slightly easier with the launch of a new government site that demystifies the new health care law.

When your term of service ends, you’ll have many things to figure out including things like job search, maybe a move to a new place, and health insurance — and how to afford it all with little savings from your stipend.

At least one piece of the transition just got a little easier.

Healthcare.gov launched this past week, giving you a place to start when you are looking for public or private health insurance options in your community (click on the “Find Insurance Options” tab) — you can also use the site to help out clients of your service site.

When I wrote Service Corps to Social Impact Career last year, I struggled with a section on finding health coverage during the transition — and wished for a website like Healthcare.gov that was easy to use, localized, and allowed graduating service corps participants to search for their options.

On Healthcare.gov’s Insurance Options Finder, you answer a few questions about yourself, such as which state you live in, your reason for needing insurance, whether you have trouble affording health insurance, and your age range. (Note, you don’t have to create a login, or in any other way identify yourself, so there should be few if any privacy concerns in answering these questions.)

After clicking on your answers, the site offers several options for you to investigate, including a listing of health insurance plans available in your area. (Unfortunately price comparisons won’t be available till this October.)

In another section of the site you can see how your state is implementing the new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (“to make health coverage available to you if you have been denied health insurance by private insurance companies because of a pre-existing condition”). So if you’re worried about getting insurance because of a condition that’s been diagnosed already, you may have reason to hope!

You can also learn more about the new health care law (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), passed in March, including a chronology of when the different provisions will take affect, and an interactive timeline of “what changes when.” And you can read the “Patients’s Bill of Rights.”

Finally other sections focus on prevention of health problems, and a tool that lets you compare health care facilities in your area on a range of different criteria including patient surveys.

Have you tried using Healthcare.gov? How has it worked for you? Have you gotten help for you or a client of your organization through using the tools?

Advertisements

Put Your Heart (Health) First

Happy post-Valentine’s Day! On a daily basis, all of us combine our compassion, charity, and action to serve our communities and nation. I consider “service” one of the greatest sources of happiness. Nonetheless, one must fully take care of their well being before attempting to care for others’. For the month of February, focus attention on the centerpiece of your love, compassion, and health—your heart.

5 Heart-Health Tips

1. Chocolate, Wine, and Berries… The Darker the Better

  • Dark chocolate, unlike milk or white chocolate, contains high amounts of catechins, a heart healthy antioxidant. Aim for chocolate with 70% or higher cacao.
  • Red wine, in comparison to other alcoholic beverages, contains more flavonoids and antioxidants. Two 4-ounce glasses of Continue reading

Google’s “Project 10 to the 100th” Contest

To celebrate its 10th birthday, Google has launched a new Project 10100 contest. The text below has been copied from the project’s web site. Read the Spanish here.

May Those Who Help The Most Win

Why this project?

Never in history have so many people had so much information, so many tools at their disposal, so many ways of making good ideas come to life. Yet at the same time, so many people, of all walks of life, could use so much help, in both little ways and big.

In the midst of this, new studies are reinforcing the simple wisdom that beyond a certain very basic level of material wealth, the only thing that increases individual happiness over time is helping other people.

In other words, helping helps everybody, helper and helped alike.

The question is: what would help? And help most?

At Google, we don’t believe we have the answers, but we do believe the answers are out there. Maybe in a lab, or a company, or a university — but maybe not.

Maybe the answer that helps somebody is in your head, in something you’ve observed, some notion that you’ve been fiddling with, some small connection you’ve noticed, some old thing you have seen with new eyes.

If you have an idea that you believe would help somebody, we want to hear about it. We’re looking for ideas that help as many people as possible, in any way, and we’re committing the funding to launch them. You can submit your ideas and help vote on ideas from others. Final idea selections will be made by an advisory board.

Good luck, and may those who help the most win.

Category Descriptions

Here are the categories in which we’ll be considering ideas.

  • Community: How can we help connect people, build communities and protect unique cultures?
  • Opportunity: How can we help people better provide for themselves and their families?
  • Energy: How can we help move the world toward safe, clean, inexpensive energy?
  • Environment: How can we help promote a cleaner and more sustainable global ecosystem?
  • Health: How can we help individuals lead longer, healthier lives?
  • Education: How can we help more people get more access to better education?
  • Shelter: How can we help ensure that everyone has a safe place to live?
  • Everything else: Sometimes the best ideas don’t fit into any category at all.

How it works

Project 10100 (pronounced “Project 10 to the 100th”) is a call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible. Here’s how to join in.

1. Send us your idea by October 20th.
Simply fill out the submission form giving us the gist of your idea. You can supplement your proposal with a 30-second video.

2. Voting on ideas begins on January 27th.
We’ll post a selection of one hundred ideas and ask you, the public, to choose twenty semi-finalists. Then an advisory board will select up to five final ideas. Send me a reminder to vote.

3. We’ll help bring these ideas to life.
We’re committing $10 million to implement these projects, and our goal is to help as many people as possible. So remember, money may provide a jumpstart, but the idea is the thing.

Good luck, and may those who help the most win.

Submit your idea here! Deadline: Oct. 20!

Dr. Oz’s Day of Zumba Action

Dr. Oz on Oprah

Dr. Oz on The Oprah Winfrey Show

Yeah, I know, this isn’t a competition.

But I challenge anyone to come up with a more imaginative, more entertaining way to highlight the national service movement and health issues than a zumba Latin dance-off for diabetes.

That’s how Dr. Mehmet Oz—heart surgeon, author, frequent Oprah guest, and HealthCorps founder—is participating in the Day of Action, Sept. 27. In doing so, he will join over 2,500 other community service projects taking place all over the United States as part of Service Nation, the campaign for more citizen service and community activism.

Dr. Oz will lead a zumba Latin dance demonstration of his own with over 200 participants as part of the American Diabetes Association‘s Diabetes Expo at the Javits Center in Manhattan. The effort aims to highlight the impact of national service and HealthCorps’s commitment to fighting diabetes and childhood obesity.

Dr. Oz says, “We can’t remedy our country’s health crisis by legislating solutions. I created HealthCorps to send volunteers to our nation’s high schools to mentor their adopted brothers and sisters. They’re making health cool and hip. Besides eating smart and exercising wisely, they’re teaching mental resilience and addressing underserved communities.”

HealthCorps is a school-based peer mentoring and community outreach program that deploys recent college graduates to empower teens to become educated consumers and health activists.

HealthCorps seeks to expand its 45-school program to serve more states, develop even more of an emphasis on consumer education, and encourage all Americans to prioritize prevention and personal responsibility.

HealthCorps members typically go on to attend medical school or engage in other public health careers.

Dr. Oz fans will be glad to hear that in September 2009 he’s set to host “The Dr. Oz Show,” a syndicated talk show produced by Oprah’s Harpo Productions.

In a week, communities all over the United States will answer the call to serve on Service Nation’s Day of Action, Sept. 27th. Idealist.org staff are organizing our first-ever Youth Action Fair in New York.

Find a project to participate in, in your community.

But…what is zumba? This is the shortest (and cutest) demo I could find on Youtube:

Watch Dr. Oz speak (not dance) during the Day of Action event:

Here is the Zumba class that took place that day: