health insurance

Elise Thatcher

A supervisor can have a bigger impact on a worker’s health than a primary care doctor. That’s according to the The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The federal office recently sent experts to Aspen to teach managers how to handle that power wisely.

Colorado Division of Insurance

It’s official: Colorado is going to look at a simpler way of calculating health insurance rates. Gov. John Hickenlooper approved the move Tuesday.

Flikr user Jim Leach

  Health insurance is especially pricey in the Roaring Fork Valley. Now Gov. John Hickenlooper is expected to approve a study looking at making the cost of insurance more equitable across the state.

  This week, on Mountain Edition:

Elise Thatcher

  Buying and using health insurance can be time-consuming and complicated. A statewide nonprofit recently reviewed data on complaints, and found a top issue has to do with which doctors a patient can see.

Elise Thatcher

  Mountain Family joins four of the biggest employers in the Aspen area, which created the Valley Health Alliance to help workers get healthier and save money for employees and employers.

Health insurance premiums can vary widely in Colorado depending on where you live — it's just one of the factors health insurance companies use to calculate prices. Mountain regions continue to have some of the highest premiums in the country. At the statehouse, House Bill 16-1336 [.pdf] would look at treating the entire state as one region, rather than continuing to group regions separately.

"Our current insurance payment of $1,508 a month is equivalent to our mortgage payment. We can't afford it," said Richard Backe, a Garfield County small-business owner. "There are numerous people in the mountain district with the same story. We are the healthiest counties in the state, and we have the highest insurance rates."

Elise Thatcher

  Garfield County is once again lobbying state leaders to improve health insurance options in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Elise Thatcher

  Residents in Eagle County are eligible for health care insurance with Kaiser Permanente next year, but that could mean traveling to the Front Range for some procedures. Eagle and Summit counties are in Kaiser’s network in 2016, which is the carrier’s first foray into the mountains.

Tracy Olson/Flickr

  Pitkin County has been spending millions of dollars on medical care for its workers. That’s dropped dramatically in recent years. Pitkin County is projected to spend more than $3.6 million in the 2015 calendar year, a significant drop from previous years.

Elise Thatcher

Hundreds of area residents attended a health insurance forum in Basalt on Thursday night. The last-minute event was coordinated by the Basalt Chamber of Commerce, after thousands of locals found out this fall that their coverage will end in January. State Senator Kerry Donovan, the state’s health exchange, and the Colorado Division of Insurance participated.

 

Basalt Chamber of Commerce

There will be two large events in Basalt and El Jebel this week aimed at tackling big questions about health insurance. Basalt resident Robin Waters originally had hoped to arrange one event. She’s received so many questions and support, she and a variety of officials are now coordinating a forum and what she’s calling an enrollment fair.

 

  A state senator is hoping to help people in the Roaring Fork Valley who have to get a new insurance plan for next year. About seven thousand residents in the Pitkin, Eagle, Garfield and Summit counties will have to shop for new health coverage, after the state dropped the ax on the health insurance carrier Colorado HealthOp.

Ballot question seeks funding for Aspen Valley Hospital

Oct 27, 2015
Marci Krivonen

 

Aspen Valley Hospital is asking voters this fall to continue a property tax that has helped pay operating costs for the past twenty years. As Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports, there’s no formal opposition to Question 5A, but voters are wondering when enough is enough when it comes to medical costs.

 

www.boilermakers.org

  The Valley Health Alliance will be hearing from a national expert on worker health and safety on Thursday, October 15th. Researcher Doctor Casey Chosewood is with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control.

Elise Thatcher

Pitkin, Eagle, and Garfield counties are lagging behind when it comes to helping more people get health insurance. A recent review shows residents in the Roaring Fork Valley are more likely to not have coverage, compared to the statewide average. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher sat down with Michele Lueck, President and CEO of the Colorado Health Institute in Denver. Lueck’s organization analyzed the data.

tedeytan/Flickr/Creative Commons

  Health insurance rates for the Roaring Fork Valley area will increase again next year. But for most companies, monthly fees are not going up by as much as they have in the past. That’s according to the Denver nonprofit, Colorado Consumer Health Initiative.

Courtesy

  It’s getting into tax season, and this is the first time residents will have to pay a fine if they didn’t have health insurance in 2014. That’ll be true for 2015 taxes as well, if someone can’t prove they have health insurance this year. For those signing up for health coverage through the statewide online exchange, counties in the Roaring Fork Valley worked together to get as many people signed on as possible. 

Your Morning News - February 12th, 2015

Feb 12, 2015

Lawyer for Aspen Teen Delves into Details

The Aspen high school student who was forced to the ground and arrested by police [last] Friday, is working with a lawyer. Trial Attorney Ryan Kalamaya will represent the teen who police suspect had marijuana.

Kalamaya says he was contacted by the teen’s family after the incident happened at a bus stop near the Aspen school campus. Video footage taken by a student on the scene and then widely shared on the internet shows two officers and a civilian taking down the screaming boy. One officer uses a pressure-point compliance tactic. Police say the boy resisted arrest. Kalamaya says the incident raises issues around marijuana and the use of police power.

“The reason I wanted to take it on was because this issue of the role of law enforcement in our society is obviously a hot topic. It’s a healthy dialogue to talk about the role of police here in the Roaring Fork Valley.”  

The teenager will appear in court on February 17th, where he will face possible charges.

Ryan Kalamaya is a member of Aspen Public Radio’s Citizens Advisory Board.

Your Evening News - February 11th, 2015

Feb 11, 2015

Carbondale Fire Meets Tonight on Future Funding

The future of the Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District is slowly inching closer. The Board of Directors for the sprawling, struggling district is meeting tonight. Board members are finalizing the contracts for two consulting firms. Their main task is to help put together a master plan for Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District, which could run out of money in two years. Gene Schilling is President of the Board.

“We believe that once the master plan’s done, there will probably be some recommendations on the funding that we need to go forward with, to get the Fire District’s level of service back up to what it was before.”

The District covers more than three hundred square miles, and provides ambulance service along a busy stretch of Highway 82. It lost more than half of its budget in late 2013, when a big chunk of mill levy funding ran out. A ballot measure to reinstate that money failed.

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