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Showing posts from December 11, 2016

The Family Gathering: A Survival Guide

by Rachel Ehmke

We know from the songs and movies that holidays are supposed to be an exciting, meaningful time for families to reunite and celebrate the things we cherish. We set aside time to practice both religious rituals and family traditions, we give thanks, and, of course, later on, we give presents. But sometimes holiday gatherings are less magical and more, well, stressful.

The vacation from school and work means a break from routine, something kids and parents alike depend on. Many families travel, facing traffic and long airplane rides, to attend one or more family get-togethers with rarely seen relatives who expect kisses and catching up. And most of these occasions will involve unfamiliar vegetable dishes.

How can anxious or easily frustrated children hope to survive all that? We’ve compiled a list of seasonal tips to help all kids—and parents—enjoy the party.

Minimize conflict over behavior

Your kids know the rules at your house, but in the excitement and novelty of a relativ…

ACA Enrollment Date Extended for Coverage Effective Jan 1

Because of the extraordinary volume of consumers contacting our call center or visiting, we are extending the deadline to sign-up for January 1 coverage until 11:59pm PST December 19. Hundreds of thousands have already selected plans over the last few days and nearly a million consumers have left their contact information to hold their place in line at the call center so far.  Our goal is to provide affordable coverage to everyone seeking it before the deadline, and these additional days will give consumers an opportunity to come back and complete their enrollment for January 1 coverage.

ACA Open Enrollment

This year’s Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment period runs from November 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017. During this time, people across the country can sign up for health plans that meet their needs.  Individuals cannot be denied coverage based on a pre-existing condition, have annual or lifetime dollar limits on their coverage, or be charged a premium because of factors like their gender. December 15, 2016 is the last day to enroll in or change plans for coverage to start January 1, 2017. Visit for the latest information on open enrollment. Additionally, resources and materials can be found at Help is available by contacting trained professionals for free and confidential assistance. Call 1-800-318-2596 or find free in-person help in your community by visiting

Traditional Medicaid Services

Many families who receive Traditional Medicaid with the waiver do not fully understand the Medicaid benefits available to them. While this is not a comprehensive list, especially for children, it provides information on services available under Traditional Medicaid. Feel free to contact Family Voices Indiana for more information 844 F2F INFO

Generally, the following services are covered by Traditional Medicaid. This list does not include everything Medicaid covers.

Preventive Services: This includes medical services like:
Family planning
Prescription drugs
Doctor office visits

Behavior and Mental Health Services: Coverage includes outpatient mental health services you receive from:
Local center for mental health
Social workers in your community

Eye Care: Coverage includes eye exams and eyeglasses.

Diabetes Self Care Management Training: Activities include:
Medication counseling
Blood glucose self-monitoring
Insulin injection
Foot, skin, and dental care



The U.S. Department of Education today made available to the public final regulations under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), aimed at promoting equity by targeting widespread disparities in the treatment of students of color with disabilities.  The regulations will address a number of issues related to significant disproportionality in the identification, placement, and discipline of students with disabilities based on race or ethnicity. The Department is also releasing a new Dear Colleague Letter addressing racial discrimination. “Children with disabilities are often disproportionately and unfairly suspended and expelled from school and educated in classrooms separate from their peers,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr.  “Children of color with disabilities are overrepresented within the special education population, and the contrast in how frequently they are disciplined is even starker.” King added, “Today’s new regulations and supp…

Info about the Use of School Resource Officers

From CPIR, Parent Center Hub: Read This Brief If… …the school system in your community, district, or state places (or is considering placing) sworn law-enforcement officers in public schools as part of building a safe learning environment for students. This Brief Expands Upon…
…OSEP’s Dear Colleague Letter on the Use of School Resource Officers (SROs) in Schools, released September 8, 2016, and available online at: About the Dear Colleague Letter
The Secretary of Education released this Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) to express the Department’s increasing concern that school discipline is being administered by school resource officers (SROs), who are law-enforcement officers based in schools. There are many reasons for the Department’s concern, including: the potential for violations of students’ civil rights;the unnecessary citations or arrests of students in schools; andthe unnecessary and harmful introduction of children and young ad…

Senate Approves 21st Century Cures Act

from National Family Voices:
The 21st Century Cures Act
As expected, the Senate last week approved, by an overwhelming margin, the House-passed "21st Century Cures Act" (as an amendment to an unrelated bill, H.R. 34). The legislation will modify regulatory policies at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to accelerate the approval of some drugs and devices. In addition, it will promote and increase funding for medical research, including Vice President Biden's "Cancer Moonshot." In fact, Mr. Biden's involvement in negotiations and his energetic lobbying of his colleagues could be the reason that this often-divided Congress was able to pass this bipartisan legislation. On Monday evening, December 5, Mr. Biden had the honor of presiding over the Senate during its vote to end debate on the bill. (A vice president also serves as president of the Senate.) In a surprise move that evening, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) honored Mr. Biden by naming …