With all the confusion and frustration about both MNsure and Obamacare sign-ups and websites, many may not know that a strict deadline is approaching soon.
If you qualify for Minnesota Care or Medical Assistance, then you don’t need to do anything more. You’re covered.
For coverage to begin March 1, you must be enrolled AND PAID by Feb. 15.
Small employers can now sign up for coverage effective April 1 (until Feb. 24), and employee open enrollment is Feb. 26-March 12.
The last date to enroll in MNsure is March 31. Enrollments received between March 16-31 will become effectiveMay 1. Fines may be imposed, however, on those who do not have coverage by April 1. That’s the law: most adults over age 18 must have health insurance or pay a fine.
Radioactive gas is persistent health risk in Minnesota
Stearns County Environmental Services and Stearns County Public Health will be giving away free radon testing kits to area residents later this month.
Every hour, someone in the United States dies from radon-related lung cancer. It is the largest environmental cancer risk and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Fortunately, the risk is largely preventable.
Stearns County and the
Minnesota Department of Health recommend that all homes in Minnesota be tested for radon. It’s the only way to know if there’s an elevated level of radon in the home, which can cause lung cancer. Radon is an odorless, colorless and tasteless radioactive gas that occurs naturally in Minnesota soils and can enter homes through cracks and openings in basement or foundation floors and walls.
Testing is easy. Free radon testing kits will be available at the Service Center in Waite Park on Feb. 21, 2014. Radon kits will be available in Melrose on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning Feb. 20, 2014 from 8 a.m.-12 noon, or at other times by appointment. Kits will not be distributed in any way before this date. There are a limited number of kits available and will be distributed in person only on a first come basis until the supply is depleted. If you wish to call on Feb. 21, or later to see if kits are still available, contact the Stearns County Service Center in Waite Park at (320) 203-6942, or the Stearns County Environmental Services office in Melrose at (320) 256-1422.
MDH estimates that one in three existing Minnesota homes have radon levels that pose a large health risk over many years of exposure. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and more than 21,000 deaths are attributed to radon each year.
For more information on radon testing and mitigation visit www.health.state.mn.us/radon, or call the Minnesota Department of Health Indoor Air Unit at (651) 201-4601 or (800) 798-9050.
At the Feb. 6 meeting of the South Haven city council, they approved the Fire Department budget, and fire protection contracts with the townships of Fairhaven, French Lake, and Southside.
City attorney Tim Young discussed a possible lease with AT&T of land for a cell tower. The possible location is at the city’s wastewater pond site, but the final decision has not yet been made by AT&T.
Fire Chief Laney reported that there were 6 rescue calls and 4 fire calls during January. There were a total of 94 calls during 2013; the average response time was 9 minutes to the longest distance. The 2014 Smelt Fry will be May 3.
The council approved pay increases for city employees. (Fire department wages are reviewed separately.)
The next meeting of the South Haven city council will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 4 at City Hall. The Board of Appeal will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 16.
For the first time since April 1, the Eden Valley city council table is full, with all four council members present.
In 2013, Eric Reetz moved away and resigned fromt he council effective April 1. Later in the year, Cheryl Thielen also moved away and resigned, effective Aug. 1. Two special elections were held to fill the two vacated seats; Jeff Bradshaw and Mark Kern were elected, Kern most recently on Jan. 28. Kern was sworn in at the council’s Feb. 5 meeting.
U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said the five-year Farm Bill the Senate passed Tuesday, Feb. 4, will go a long way toward ensuring Minnesota sportsmen have healthy and vibrant wildlife habitats and clean fishable waters that support the state’s long tradition of hunting and fishing. The president is expected to sign the measure into law soon.
“Minnesota has a long tradition of hunting, fishing, and recreation that is supported by our abundant water resources and wildlife habitat,” said Sen.
Franken. “The new Farm Bill’s conservation measures will go a long way toward ensuring that those important traditions can be preserved in our state. They strengthen our efforts to protect, maintain, and develop critical wildlife habitats, and build partnerships that will protect all of our important resources that sportsmen rely upon.”