Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment begins Nov. 1st

Open enrollment for health insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace runs November 1 - December 15, 2019. Consumers have until December 15 to renew their coverage or enroll in a plan in order for their health insurance coverage to begin on January 1, 2020.

If you are planning to enroll in health insurance using the Health Insurance Marketplace, here is what you need to know:

  • 2020 Open Enrollment runs from November 1 through December 15, 2019. Plans sold during this time period will start January 1, 2020.
  • The Health Insurance Marketplace is for people who donít have health coverage. If you don't have health insurance through a job, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or another source that provides qualifying health coverage, the Marketplace can help you get covered.
  • What you pay for insurance depends on your income. Based on your income, you may qualify for a premium tax credit that lowers your monthly insurance bill, and for extra savings on out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and copayments
  • You can apply for coverage several ways. You can apply online, by phone, with in-person help, through an agent or broker, through certified enrollment partner websites, or with a paper application.

The Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD) would also like to remind residents about the following:

  • Anyone who already has coverage through the Healthy Michigan Plan, Medicaid, or MIChild must renew every year; they can look for information in the mail from the Michigan Department of Human Services about renewal.
  • Anyone with coverage through the Marketplace can keep their plan or shop for a new one.
  • Renewal must take place between November 1, 2019 and December 15, 2019, so it's important to not delay. Individuals who do not log in and update their applications may be automatically enrolled in a 2020 plan. Anyone with insurance through Marketplace should log in, update their plan information, and view all plan options for 2020 to find the plan that fits best.
  • Those who are uninsured should review options, check to see how much financial help is available, and choose the coverage that meets their needs and fits their budget.

BEDHD has Certified Application Counselors available who can help you fill out an application and enroll. If you would like in-person assistance, call (269) 945-9516 (Barry) or (517) 543-2430 (Eaton) to make an appointment. For more information on plan options, or to see if you qualify for savings based on your income, visit

-From the Barry-Eaton District Health Department

Article posted on October 30th, 2019. - Article Permalink

ERMC kicks off annual Michigan Harvest Gathering

The Michigan Harvest Gathering (MHG), an annual state-wide campaign that raises food and funds for Michigan’s emergency food response, is underway. Eaton Rapids Medical Center (ERMC) has coordinated the Harvest Gathering food drive for the Eaton Rapids area for several years and is holding the 2019 drive now through November 5. Last year, 2,290 pounds of non-perishable food items and personal care items were collected locally. This year, the goal is to collect 2,500 pounds.

This year, the community has revamped collection efforts in new and creative ways. Laura DeLong and her team at Laura DeLong Realty have challenged other downtown businesses in Eaton Rapids to fill their storefront windows with donations to the MHG. Hospital employees have pledged to fill ERMC chief executive officer Tim Johnson’s office with donations.

Everything collected will be donated to Heart & Hands and St. Vincent de Paul, local food banks in Eaton Rapids. Collection barrels are located at Laura DeLong Realty, Eaton Rapids Medical Center, Island City Academy, Greyhound Intermediate School, Eaton Rapids Middle School, Mark’s Place, Independent Bank, Jean Bradford Kline Senior Center, Eaton Federal Savings Bank, Ross & Associates Realtors, LLC, and Island City Assisted Living.

Desired items include canned meals, boxed dinners, dry pasta, cereal, and infant formula. Non-food items such as soap, toothpaste, laundry detergent, disposable diapers, and feminine hygiene products are appreciated as well. According to, 21 percent of children do not know where their next meal will come from and 16 percent of households are struggling to put food on the table in Michigan. Every dollar donated helps provide five meals. Monetary donations can be dropped off at ERMC. For more information, contact Chris Sebastian at 517.663.9520.

Laura DeLong, owner of Laura DeLong Realty, came up with the idea to challenge other downtown businesses to fill their storefronts with food during last year's Michigan Harvest Gathering.

Article posted on October 24th, 2019. - Article Permalink

Update regarding Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Barry and Eaton county

The Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD) was notified on 10/18/2019 that a deer found in Eaton County on 9/10/2019 tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis. This is the first confirmed animal case of EEE in Eaton County. There are no human cases of EEE in Eaton County. In Barry County, 1 human and 5 animal cases have been confirmed. No new cases have been confirmed in Barry County. According to Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), 55 cases of EEE have been confirmed in 17 counties. EEE has been confirmed in 10 humans, and 45 animals. On an account of this information, BEDHD encourages residents of both Barry and Eaton County to continue to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) conducted aerial treatment to help combat EEE by reducing mosquito populations in affected areas. Aerial treatment covering more than 557,000 acres targeting 14 counties was completed on 10/8/2019. Treatment was conducted in portions of Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Jackson, Kent, Lapeer, Livingston, Montcalm, Newaygo, St. Joseph, Van Buren and Washtenaw counties. In addition, Fort Custer Training Center, which is in both Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties, was treated. At the time that aerial treatment was conducted, no EEE cases had been confirmed in Eaton County. Due to this, Eaton County was not included in the aerial treatment. According to MDHHS, No further areas are currently slated for treatment.

Mosquito populations continue until there is a very hard frost. According to the National Weather Service, the warmer weather in Michigan is expected to continue well into the month of October. This means that mosquitoes that carry the EEE virus can still bite and infect people and animals. BEDHD encourages residents to continue to protect themselves from mosquito bites by:

  • Avoiding being outdoors from dusk to dawn when mosquitos that carry the EEE virus are most active.
  • Applying insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-registered product to exposed skin or clothing, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.
  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.
  • Maintaining window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Emptying water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes may lay eggs.
  • Using nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas.

BEDHD, in partnership with MDHHS, continues to monitor EEE activity in the area. Residents should continue to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites until the threat of EEE is eliminated. For more information on EEE visit

-From the Barry-Eaton District Health Department

Article posted on October 24th, 2019. - Article Permalink

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