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Best of 2013

Here’s a look back at the top 6 resource posts of 2013!

diaperneed2Before You Reuse That Diaper: Did you know that 1 out of 3 families struggle to afford diapers for their children in the United States? Some families have had to resort to scraping out and reusing wet or soiled disposable diapers.



Image from www.parentingnow.org

Parents: Want someone to make you dinner, take care of your kids, and ease your stress for FREE? You’re in luck! There are a few agencies in Marion County who offer parenting classes to help take the stress out of parenting. The Early Learning Coalition’s Success By 6 “Active Parenting” program is a class for parents with children birth to six years old. “Topics include early literacy, behavior management, child health and safety, childhood development, sign language, car safety for your family, utilizing community resources, reducing parenting stress, and financial stability and budgeting.” All this is FREE! To see all agencies in Marion County who provide parenting classes, click here.


From http://www.marysrosaries.com/Q & A: Help With Funeral Expenses: “Let life be like music. And death a note unsaid.” -Langston Hughes

The loss of a loved one can be devastating… and can be devastating financially if you are bearing the burden of the cost on your own. We wanted to share some options for Marion County residents who are financially in need, to help ease the expense. We’re breaking the options down into: Lower Cost, Benefits, and Can’t Pay.


Prescription Bottle - blank label“My medicine costs $290 now that I lost my insurance.” Stories like this are sounding all too familiar here at 2-1-1. When work hours are cut by an employer to the point that an employee loses their health insurance, they can be left with very high medical expenses and not enough income to pay the costs. Until you are able to get insurance again, here are 5 ways to try to get those prescription costs down.


power_stripDo Your Utility Bills Make Your Jaw Drop? Part 1: Anytime is a great time to put in place some energy saving remedies to keep your bills from shooting through the roof(literally and figuratively) with cold and hot weather. 10+ Free/Cheap Ways to Save on Electric (this list is compiled from various utility companies and conservation websites)


leakfaucetDo Your Utility Bills Make Your Jaw Drop? Part 2: Part 2 in a 2 part series. Anytime is a great time to put in place some water saving remedies to keep your bills from drying up your bank account. 10 Free/Cheap Ways to Save on Water (this list is compiled from various utility companies and conservation websites)



Health Insurance: Enrollment, Waivers, and Deadlines

insuranceThe Affordable Care Act health insurance program kicked in on Wednesday. National Public Radio(NPR) shared some statistics in November showing that only a quarter of people who are enrolling are using the website, with the remainder using services such as Certified Application Counselors available in Marion through Heart of Florida Health Center(HFHC). HFHC has assisted approximately 2,000 Marion County residents with health insurance enrollment since October 2013, through their enrollment line, hosting 40 events/presentations, and training 16 people to be Certified Application Counselors.

Don’t want to get insurance or can’t afford it? (more…)

Health Insurance Enrollment Has Begun

Insurance enrollment has begun with HealthCare.gov as of October 1st. Heart of Florida Health Center is taking calls. If  you have been rejected for Medicaid in the past, you can still apply now. If you don’t have health insurance, call 2-1-1 to find out how to apply or visit www.healthcare.gov. At times people are experiencing a wait time, when accessing the healthcare.gov website(due to the large number of people accessing the website), to be directed to the login page, this may take a few minutes. The website is available 24/7, so we encourage you to try accessing the website outside of standard business hours for a shorter(or no) wait time.

Key Dates:

October 1, 2013: Open Enrollment Begins
January 1, 2014: Coverage can begin
March 31, 2014: Must apply for insurance or have an exemption by this date. Learn about the many ways people are exempt from required health coverage and fees as well as how to apply for the exemption: here.

Affordable Care in Action

Whether you know of it as the Affordable Care Act or “ObamaCare”, what you may not know is: How Does it Affect Me? HealthCare.gov just launched their new site this summer that can answer all of your questions and more. The act was signed into law in 2010 and three years later, it’s time to start “shopping”!

Families and Small Business Owners can visit Healthcare.gov to start getting ready for enrollment. Enrollment will open on October 1st and coverage will begin as early as January 1, 2014.

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