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FLU VACCINE FOR UNINSURED CHILDREN AND ADULTS

The single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year. Flu vaccine not only protects you, but also those around you.

Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) has flu vaccine for uninsured children, and for children with Medical Assistance. The supply includes injectable vaccine for children 6 months through 18 years, and nasal vaccine for children 2 through 18 years who do not have chronic health conditions.

Public Health also has injectable flu vaccine for uninsured adults.

Flu immunizations are available by appointment at Public Health Immunization Clinics in Madison, Middleton and Sun Prairie. Call 608-266-4821 for an appointment.

If you have insurance, you should call your regular medical clinic for information on their plans to offer flu shots this season.

Other sources of information about seasonal flu:

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ENTEROVIRUS D68 (EV-D68), AN OVERVIEW

EV-D68 is a virus that causes respiratory symptoms. Its spread through parts of the midwest has been reported in the news. Its symptoms may be similar to the common cold or may be more severe. Most people will recover without treatment but people with a more severe form of the disease may need to seek health care and possibly be hospitalized.

The virus likely spreads from person to person when someone with the virus coughs or sneezes or when someone touches a contaminated surface. Without extensive lab testing, there is no way to tell whether someone's symptoms are due to EV-D68 or a different virus. This testing will only be offered to patients that meet specific criteria set by the Wisconsin Division of Public Health. Health providers are not required to report EV-D68 to their local health department, so we don't know if EV-D68 is circulating in Wisconsin. There is no vaccine for EV-D68.

Respiratory viruses often spread in the fall when children return to school. Prevention of EV-D68 is the same as prevention of other respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often (alcohol hand sanitizer gel can be used if handwashing is not possible)
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Don't share drinks or eating utensils with people who are sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Stay home if you're sick

If you have questions about symptoms you or your child are having, call your doctor. If someone is having trouble breathing, call 911 and seek medical care right away.

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HEALTH CARE COVERAGE OPTIONS FOR 2014

Badger Care

Adults with income under 100% of the federal poverty level (FPL), as well as pregnant women and most children up to 300% FPL, are eligible for Badger Care (Medicaid in Wisconsin) and they may apply at any time throughout the year. Many low income adults without dependent children are unaware that they are now eligible.

People with income below or slightly above those levels should apply for Badger Care and other benefits at:

  • ACCESS
    or
  • Call the Capital Consortium (Dane County Department of Human Services) at 1-888-794-5556.

HealthConnect – Additional Help to Pay for Health Insurance

Dane County residents with household income under 150% FPL who signed up for a cost-sharing silver plan through the Marketplace are probably eligible for additional help to pay their monthly premiums. They should call United Way of Dane County at 2-1-1 and ask about HealthConnect.

Getting a Marketplace Plan After the Open Enrollment Period

People can still sign up for health coverage through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace plan for 60 days after certain "qualifying events" or special circumstances.

Sign up at:

Cognosante (phone 608-826-7309), a federally-funded organization that provides in-person enrollment assistance, will continue to help Dane County residents to sign up throughout the year.

Next Open Enrollment Period

For everyone else who needs coverage, the next open enrollment period to sign up for insurance plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace will be November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015. Most people are eligible for financial assistance to help lower their costs.

Disability

If people are disabled, they should apply for Social Security disability, which includes health coverage. They should call the Social Security office at 866-770-2262. The Dane County Aging and Disability Resource Center (phone 608-240-7400) provides assistance with that process.

Health Coverage for Immigrants and Refugees