Weekly Email Update 11.6.17
Happy Sunday, weCAN Family! We'd like to take this opportunity to relay some important information about Vermont Health Connect's Open Enrollment as information about the Affordable Care Act may be (intentionally) hard to come by this year.
2018 Open Enrollment for Vermont Health Connect is open NOW through December 15th, 2017. During this time individuals and families can sign up for new healthcare coverage or make a change to existing coverage.
Who is Vermont Health Connect for?
• Vermonters without health insurance.
• Vermonters who purchase insurance for themselves.
• Vermonters who qualify for Medicaid or Dr. Dynasaur, whether or not they are also offered insurance from a job.
• Vermonters who are offered “unaffordable” coverage by their employers.
Through the Vermont Health Connect portal you can:
- See In-Person Assister (IPA) program updates or browse a directory of certified Assisters.
- Use the 2018 Plan Comparison Tool to estimate total annual costs and to see if you qualify for financial help to lower the cost of health insurance.
- Check to see if a new special enrollment period for pregnant individuals is available for your household.
- Learn about grace periods and why it is important to pay your bill on time.
- See where to find help filling out the 202-Med for Medicaid for the Aged, Blind, and Disabled.
- Obtain insurance for your small business. Click here for information and resources.
- Learn about Medicaid and Dr. Dynasaur.
Do you need a Healthcare Advocate or Legal Aid?
The Office of the Healthcare Advocate may be able to help. Call 1-800-917-7787(8:30am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday, except holidays) to speak with a health care advocate, or fill out our Help Request Form. The Office of the Health Care Advocate is not an insurance company and is not part of Vermont state government. It is a special project within Vermont Legal Aid, an independent non-profit law firm.
Vermont’s HCA HelpLine is a free resource available to help all Vermonters solve problems related to health care. We:
•help you solve problems with Vermont Health Connect and other health coverage
•tell you what free and lower-cost programs you may be eligible for
•help you apply for and get free and lower-cost health coverage
•find out what your health plan covers
•provide advice about how to solve billing problems and make complaints
•work for fair treatment and affordable health services for everyone
Here are some additional Vermont Health Connect basics you should be aware of, thanks to Stowe Today (a local newspaper out of Stowe, VT):
- The Department of Vermont Health Access is offering an open enrollment webinar with representatives from all three insurance carriers on Thursday, November 9th, 2017 for people who’d like further assistance navigating Vermont Health Connect. Sign up at here. Recordings of the webinars will be posted at vermonthealthconnect.gov.
- the open enrollment period is halved this year to only six weeks instead of three months so Vermonters will have less time to navigate their health care
- The enrollment period began this week and runs through Dec. 15th, 2017
- Most Vermonters will find 24 options for qualified health plans – including four new bronze plans – from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont and MVP, as well as dental plans from Northeast Delta Dental.
- Every plan offers the same basic services, including preventive care, emergency care, mental health services and prescriptions.
- For Blue Cross, the Green Mountain Care Board approved an average 9.2 percent increase in premiums for the upcoming year. For MVP, the board approved an average 3.5 percent increase.
- The penalty for not having insurance has gone up to 2.5 percent of a household’s income or $695 per uninsured adult and $385 per uninsured child. That’s up from $295 per adult and $147.50 per child. There are some exceptions to this requirement, including individuals who 1) have an income that is low enough that they do not file income taxes (this equals an annual income of about $10,000 for an individual), 2) have specific religious beliefs, or 3) are unable to find an affordable plan. You must apply to the federal government directly for an exemption. Learn more about the individual mandate on healthcare.gov.
- Vermonters who miss the Dec. 15 deadline could have to wait until January 2019 to start health coverage, although those who qualify for Medicaid can sign up throughout the year and those who qualify for a special enrollment period due to a change in employment, loss of health coverage, getting married, having a baby or adopting a child generally have 60 days to sign up.
- Existing members who want to stay in the same plan can simply continue to pay their bills on time and will automatically be renewed into the 2018 version of their current plan.
HAPPENING TODAY SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5th, 2017
A Meditative Vigil of Lovingkindness
Sunday, November 5th, 2017 on the lawn in front of the Baptist Church (next to Brown & Roberts), Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301).
12:30pm-1:30pm. Please join us. All are welcome to join for a few minutes or for the entire hour. People may stand, sit or kneel, as they see fit. Please bring a chair, cushion, mat, or whatever you are comfortable with.
Under a banner that reads “May All Beings Be Free Of Pain And Suffering, May All Beings Know Peace And Happiness. Please Join Us” Post Oil Solutions is continuing its silent vigils of lovingkindness for the peaceful, socially just society we are all seeking on
At a time when basic values are being assaulted and abused, it is essential that we both express and simply be our inherent heart values. Though silent, the Vigil of Lovingkindness is intended to give voice to these values that are the foundation of a wholesome society, and to speak up for the compassionate alternative that they represent.
For further information, or if you wish to be part of a contact list that will inform people of future Lovingkind Vigils, please forward your name, e-mail address, and phone number to: firstname.lastname@example.org or 802.869.2141.
An Afternoon of Information:
Sister District, Representative Hanzas, and Act 46 Alternative Governance Structures
sponsored by The Putney Huddle
Sunday, November 5th, 2017 at The Putney Public Library (55 Main Street, Putney, VT, 05346). 12:30pm-3:30pm.
Come for part or for all! Click HERE to RSVP through the Facebook event.
Schedule of Events:
12:30pm-1:30pm- Sister District GOTV training event
1:30pm-1:45pm - Announcements
1:45pm- 2:30pm- Rep. Sarah Copeland Hanzas is a seven term house member from Bradford, VT. She is a mother of three and a small business owner. She has served on the Health Care committee for most of her time in office and held leadership positions that have brought her into contact with state level leaders from around the country. She has seen some disturbing trends in state level leadership around the country, brought on by the influence of corporate $ and interests in our elections. She will be speaking about all of the above and how we stay focused at home while also helping to take our message out to other states.
2:30pm-3:15pm- Kristina Naylor will lead an information session regarding Act 46 Alternative Governance Structures. The vote is on November 7th, 2017.
3:15pm- Closing thoughts
HAPPENING THIS WEEK MONDAY, NOVEMBER 6th, 2017-SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12th, 2017
Windham County Organizing Committee for Vermont Workers' Center
Tuesday, November 7th, 2017 atThe Root Social Justice Center, (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). First Floor. 6pm-8pm.For more information please email Windham@workerscenter.org.
The Vermont Workers' Center is a democratic, member-run organization dedicated to organizing with a human rights framework and to taking action on issues of concern to people most impacted by economic and social injustice. Our Healthcare Is A Human Right campaign is focused on building collective power to win a healthcare system that works for people, not for profit, and provides dignified wages and conditions for people working in the healthcare field. We also work in solidarity with social, economic, racial, and climate justice organizations to build a mass movement for people and the planet.
Join Rights and Democracy for a Raise the Wage Phone Bank
Thursday, November 9th, 2017 at Everyone’s Books (25 Elliot St, Brattleboro, VT 05301) from 6pm-8:30pm.
We'll be getting in touch with folks who signed our Raise Up Vermont petition expressing support for an economic justice agenda for Vermont. As we get closer to the beginning of the next legislative session, it's time to up the ante and move people to take action for $15 an hour minimum wage.
RAD Staffer Emma will be on hand to walk us through what should be a fun and fulfilling evening reaching out to our supporters to help make this happen for Vermonters. All are welcome. Refreshments provided.
Protest Vigil at TD Bank
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Friday, November 10th, 2017 (and every Friday) in front of TD Bank Brattleboro (215 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301). 12pm-1pm.Signs will be provided.
TD is a major investor in Tar Sands. TD helps to fund the Dakota Access Pipeline. The State of Vermont Keeps Most of Our Cash in TD.]
What You Can You Do (besides attending the vigils):
If you’re a TD depositor, change banks!
Founded in 2005, Post Oil Solutions is a 501c3 community organizing project in Southeastern Vermont whose mission is to help empower the people of the Central Connecticut River Valley bioregion to develop sustainable, resilient , collaborative, and socially just communities leading to a self- and community-sufficient post petroleum society. For more information please contact email@example.com or 802.869.2141.
Winter Farmers’ Market
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Saturday, November 11th, 2017(and every Saturday through March) at the Robert H. Gibson River Garden (157 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 10am-2pm.
No pets allowed. Area musicians will perform from 11am-1pm. Metered parking available within walking distance. Restrooms and cafe seating available on site. Family friendly.
We are beginning our 12th Season! Join us every Saturday for vegetables, fruits and meat from local farms, a variety of baked goods, locally and regionally produced artisan crafts, and freshly prepared food in the beautiful River Garden building on Main Street in downtown Brattleboro.
EBT customers can turn $10 into $20 with CropCash.
INFO: contact Market Manager, Sherry Maher, 802.869.2141, farmersmarket@postoilsolutions.
Education in Times of Emergency: A Talk by Paul Frisoli of the International Rescue Committee
Friday, November 17th, 2017 at the SIT Campus (1 Kipling Road, Brattleboro, Vt, 05301) in the El Cafe. 7pm. For questions or to request accommodations for events on the SIT campus, please contact Kate Casa at802-258-3527.
The public is invited to attend a free talk by Paul Frisoli, senior technical advisor for education with the International Rescue Committee Education Technical Unit. Paul will present “Supporting Recovery for Tomorrow and the Future: Learning from the IRC’s Healing Classrooms Program in Conflict Affected Contexts.”
Paul leads the IRC’s education programs in the Middle East (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Syria) and provides technical support to the IRC’s U.S. programs offices. He leads IRC’s Healing Classrooms initiative, which focuses on creating positive, nurturing learning environments and building explicit social-emotional learning skills for children affected by conflict and crisis. He is also the education technology specialist at the IRC, specializing in the use of ICT in emergency settings.
The Putney Huddle Regular Meeting
Sunday, November 19th, 2017 at The Putney Public Library (55 Main Street, Putney, VT, 05346). 1:30pm-3:30pm.
Click HERE to RSVP through the Facebook event.
Laura Chapman will do a mini presentation sharing some takeaways from her time at The Women's March Convention.
The Speaker of the Vermont House, Mitzi Johnson will also join us for discussion.
Love Brigade Write-In AND the Brattleboro Women's Chorus Concert Centered on the Theme of LOVE
Sunday, November 19th, 2017 at 118 Elliot (118 Elliot Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 12pm-3:30pm. The Brattleboro Women's Chorus Concert begins at 4:00pm.
Join the Local Love Brigade! Come by 118 Elliot St and make postcards to send out in an avalanche of love to support victims of hate. There will be plenty of materials provided, and no artistic experience is required. All are welcome. Together we can let those who are suffering know that they are not alone and that we're standing with them.
Afterwards, join other others to head to the First Baptist Church (190 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301) for a 4pm performance of the Brattleboro Women's Chorus centered on the theme of love. Tickets are $12 regular adult, $20 generous donation. $10 student and senior tickets will be available at BrownPaperTickets.com (starting in November) or at the door. For information email us or call 802-254-8994.It will be a powerful afternoon! https://www.facebook.com/events/1263035343842642/
Rights and Democracy's Annual Membership Assembly and Celebration: From Protest to Power: Organizing in 2018 And Beyond
Sunday, December 10th, 2017 at Lebanon High School (195 Hanover St., Lebanon, NH). 1pm-6pm.
Join members of Rights & Democracy from across Vermont and New Hampshire for our annual membership assembly and celebration. We will celebrating RAD members for key victories in our states and DC this year and look to the movement organizing that lay ahead for us in 2018 and beyond, including our multi-issue People’s Platform for each state. If you are not a member of Rights & Democracy, but are interested in learning more about becoming one or if you have child care or accessibility or interpretation needs, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
STANDING REGULAR MEETINGS
Lost River Racial Justice, Black Lives Matter-South, and People Of Color Caucus Regular Meeting
Reoccurring racial justice organizing meetings every 2nd Monday at The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio of the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) on the First Floor. 6pm-8pm. Childcare provided. Fragrance & nut free space.
Youth4Change Regular Meeting
The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio for the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). First Floor.
Youth4Change (Y4C), a program of The Root Social Justice Center, builds the leadership skills of youth ages 12-21, especially those from/in historically disenfranchised communities who want to use education, art, and action to address issues of racial, class, gender, queer, immigrant and indigenous justice.
Community Thanksgiving Volunteers Needed
Brattleboro’s 45th annual Community Thanksgiving is Thursday, November 23rd, 2017 at St. Michael’s School. Volunteers can sign up now for shifts between Tuesday, November 21st, 2017 through Thanksgiving Day. Please go online at www.volunteersignup.org/lpfap to sign up to: make desserts, prepare vegetables, help in the kitchen, serve food or drinks, wash dishes, deliver meals, transport food, and/or help clean up.
Those who would like to request a meal delivered to their home on Thanksgiving Day should call Peter Wiles at 802-254-4687.
SKILLED VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
Childcare as a Radical Act: Sign up to Provide Childcare!
The Family Solidarity Action Network is moving forward with their next big effort to support families in local activism: a collective of folks to provide childcare for local activist meetings or events. If you or someone you know would be able and willing to offer childcare (as a volunteer, or paid) for meetings and events please fill out this spreadsheet:
We are looking for people young and old with varying degrees of experience. Having a large pool of people to call on will make it much easier for organizers to arrange childcare for meetings, allowing for more voices of families with young children to participate in local activism! We will then be making this list available to other local organizations so we can be sure that childcare doesn't have to be a barrier to participation for anyone.
Non Violent Direct Action Training Opportunity: Call for NVDA Training Participants
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
On the basis of inquiries we have received of late, we are interested in organizing an all-day Non-Violent Direct Action (NVDA) training workshop early in 2018, on a Saturday or Sunday (depending on participant preference), hopefully in the Brattleboro Food Co-op community room. We will need 15/20 people.
Participating in this training does not mean you plan to risk arrest while involved in a non-violent direct action. It is important for all of us in the environmental, social justice, peace, and democracy movements to be well-versed in non-violence. In addition to risking arrest, we need to consider all the roles necessary to make our efforts successful, including being a support person, a legal, police or media liaison.
Workshop Goals Include:
•To understand and become inspired by the spirit and history of non-violent direct action
•To prepare for participation in non-violent action that may be necessary as time goes on
•To deepen connections and build stronger community among activists in the greater Brattleboro area
The workshop is free. Bagels, muffins, scones, fruit, coffee & tea will be provided throughout the day. For lunch, bring your own, eat in the Co-op Café, or elsewhere in town. Though not required, a donation of $5-$20 would be most appreciated as our way of thanking our volunteer trainers.
For information and to register, contact Tim 802.869.2141 or email@example.com.
Soup's On (Again)!
Please support our fun and delicious fundraising effort to support Sister District. Project and our two Virginia House of Delegates candidates: John Bell and Jennifer Foy. You can sign up to receive delicious soup monthly with pick up in Putney or Brattleboro, or if you are going to be out of area you can donate your soup to the Putney Foodshelf. Sign up, spread the word, and share with friends! Our last round raised over $3500 and our goal for the next 8 months is $10,000. If you are interested in cooking, you can volunteer by emailing us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ONGOING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING
Sundays at 12pm on Brattleboro Community Radio 107.7FM
To stream live: Visit www.wvew.org
Indigo Radio, deepening understanding and making connections!
IndigoRadio is a group of area educators seeking to learn through engaging with others in our community and throughout the world. We will be talking about educational and social issues both globally and locally and connecting them to our lives and Brattleboro community.
Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indigoradiowvew/. For archive recordings of past shows: https://soundcloud.com/user-654648353
WVEW 107.7FM, Brattleboro Community Radio Station
You can listen to recorded and archived episodes here: https://soundcloud.com/democracy-eventually and you can find us on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/democracyeventually/ and on Twitter here @Democrazeee.
We are Democracy, Eventually a radio show covering local, state, and underreported national news stories from a progressive analysis. We air live on WVEW 107.7FM LP Brattleboro Community Radio Station.
Thank you, as always, for all that you give of yourself for our community. Your fellow Vermonters are so grateful for all that you do.
Your Friendly WeCAN Admins,
Ann and Joanna