ANCW region meetings to include cost-saving tips for health insurance

Apr 10, 2009
by WLJ
ANCW region meetings to include cost-saving tips for health insurance

The American National Cattle- Women, Inc. (ANCW) are hosting two region meetings that include half-day seminars on managing health insurance and health crisis planning for ranch and farm families. The seminars are funded through the Western Center for Risk Management Education of Washington State University. Additional funding is provided by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service. The Utah CattleWomen will host the Region 6 meeting at the Embassy Suites in downtown Salt Lake City, April 15-17. On May 15-17, Oregon CattleWomen will host the Region 5 meeting at the Oxford Suites/Jantzen Beach in Portland.

Health issues have become critical to many ranches and farms. On average, 10 percent of a ranch or farm income goes for health related costs. Families who farm or ranch are often at a disadvantage because they have to purchase health insurance in the individual market instead of getting it as part of a group plan.

Only 8 percent of American households buy health insurance through this market, while one study found that 36 percent of farm and ranch families do, and pay an average of $4,300 per year more than Americans who get insurance through an employer. An ANCW member survey indicated members often sacrifice adequate insurance coverage because of cash flow issues, significantly raising the ranch risk in the event of a catastrophic illness.

During the Region 6 meeting in Salt Lake City, the Health Coverage Risk Education will start with roundtable discussions at lunch on Friday, April 17. Troy Stover, consumer service analyst for the Utah Department of Insurance, will discuss how to shop for health insurance, money saving tips, and tricks of using the Internet. Darrell Hotton, program manager, Division of Aging and Adult Services, will make sense of the ever changing and confusing Medicare issues relevant to those of Medicare age and those whose parents are, or will be soon, in that maze.

The Region 6 meeting will also extensively cover ANCW updates and explore two new ANCW committees on curriculum and animal welfare. A tour of the Family History Center and dinner at the Lion House are featured local events.

Registration for the Region 5 meeting is Thursday night, May 14, with the ANCW business starting Friday morning. At noon, the Risk Management workshop will begin with roundtable discussions over lunch. Cynthia Hylton from SHIBA (Senior Health Insurance Benefits) will cover Medicare issues, from supplements to long term care. Harold Weight and Jake Twenge of IMed- Oregon, a division of Multiplan Financial Services, Inc., will take the participants through insurance buying, what to watch for, and how to get the most out of your insurance dollar. They will also touch on family situations that impact decisions on long term care and disability insurance.

In addition to ANCW business, the Region 5 meeting will include presentations on current environmental hot topics, historic Northwest Native American basket weavers, and a humorous spoof on Oregon history as well as time for sightseeing in downtown Portland.

Producers may attend just the Risk Management part of the Region meetings for no charge, but must pre-register.

For more information, see Meetings or contact the ANCW office at 303/694-0313. — WLJ