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Local Residents Find Creative Ways to Spark Joy This Halloween | Kndu

Local Residents Find Creative Ways to Spark Joy This Halloween | Kndu


Halloween is only a few weeks away and people in the Tri-Cities are finding ways to celebrate the holiday while the pandemic is still part of life.

Olivia Paz is the creator of Tri-Cities 1st Annual Halloween Light Show.

“There was a lot of talk about Halloween being cancelled, about people not to get their hopes up because they wouldn’t be able to do anything and it was just really depressing,” said Paz.

So Olivia had the idea for the light show.

“Wouldn’t it be cool if we had an event that people could go around and look at some really cool Halloween decorations and lights,” said Paz.

Since she started her website and Facebook page, she says the response has been extremely positive.

In West Richland, one woman is celebrating the good this Halloween. Tia Jensen is focusing on helpers and heroes instead of horror.

“There’s a lot of good people in the world that are willing to step up and help. I wanted to recognize firefighters, essential workers, teachers, zoom teachers, blood donors–everyone that’s made a difference in the past year,” said Jensen.

In 2018, Tia was diagnosed with Leukemia while she was preparing for Halloween and spent a year recovering. Now, she’s back and ready to celebrate Halloween after two years of not being able to.

“This Halloween, I’m lucky to be alive. I really shouldn’t be here. I’m only here because of the doctors and the healthcare workers and everyone who came forward to helps save my life,” said Jensen.

She has found ways of sparking joy while also keeping safety in mind.

“I know how to be contactless, I know how to be socially distanced. And I can still set up a scene where it can still be a gift to the community

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D.C. residents to see small increase in health insurance marketplace rates

D.C. residents to see small increase in health insurance marketplace rates

Rates for individual coverage will increase overall by 0.2 percent and rates for small-group coverage, such as small businesses, will decrease by 0.5 percent, according to the D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking, which reviews and approves rates for the online marketplace.

The 2021 rates are a “big win for D.C. residents in making health care more affordable and accessible,” said William Borden, a professor of medicine and health policy at George Washington University. He pointed to how people struggled to keep up with rising health insurance premiums even before the novel coronavirus took hold.

“Having health insurance is clearly associated with better health outcomes, and so if there was going to be a sharp increase in insurance premiums that really could be devastating, especially as individuals, small businesses are already struggling financially,” Borden said.

Insurers initially asked for rate increases as high as 30 percent, but most of the insurers decreased their initial rate filings after a virtual public hearing in September.

During that hearing, leaders of the D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority, which operates D.C. Health Link, the online health insurance marketplace, advocated premium reductions or freezing rates at 2020 levels. More than 30 people signed up to testify.

The gap between what insurers initially proposed and what the DISB approved after the hearing will save D.C. residents more than $17 million, according to the department’s news release Friday.

Open enrollment in the District runs from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31.

Other jurisdictions also have moved to limit increasing rates.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) approved an average 11.9 percent premium rate decrease for individual health insurance plans through Maryland Health Connection, the state-based health insurance marketplace, in 2021. This is the third consecutive year that individual premium rates have gone down in Maryland. Open enrollment in

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U.S. Cities With Highest and Lowest Rates of Uninsured Residents | Cities

U.S. Cities With Highest and Lowest Rates of Uninsured Residents | Cities

With ample job losses since the start of 2020, more Americans are uninsured than in recent memory. Being without health insurance takes on new meaning during the coronavirus pandemic, leaving many Americans more vulnerable than before. According to a report by WalletHub, a personal finance website, nine of the top 10 cities with the highest rates of uninsured residents are in Texas.

The study compared overall insurance rates of 548 U.S. cities from 2019 census data, measuring within the “city proper,” and excluding greater metro areas. Health insurance rates by age, ethnicity and income were also measured.

Washington, D.C., ranked first for large cities with the lowest uninsured rates, with less than 4% of adults being uninsured, followed by Seattle, San Francisco, Boston and Honolulu. Houston topped the other end of the list for highest uninsured rates among large cities, with an uninsured rate of more than 28%.

Here are the 10 cities with the highest uninsured rates according to WalletHub:

  1. Houston, TX
  2. Passaic, NJ
  3. McAllen, TX
  4. Garland, TX
  5. Pasadena, TX
  6. Laredo, TX
  7. Edinburg, TX
  8. Mission, TX
  9. Brownsville, TX
  10. Pharr, TX

Here are the 10 cities with the lowest uninsured rates according to WalletHub:

  1. Newton, MA
  2. Cambridge, MA
  3. Quincy, MA
  4. Plymouth, MN
  5. Fremont, CA
  6. Ellicott City, MD
  7. Union City, CA
  8. Alameda, CA
  9. Naperville, IL
  10. Pleasanton, CA

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