About Town | 4-28-14


Final call to sign up for health plan

The Hawaii Health Connector is urging those who started their application to finish the process by selecting a health plan. The final deadline to enroll is Wednesday.

“This is the final call. Our community partners and our customer support center team are standing by and are ready to assist residents,” said Tom Matsuda, interim executive director of the Hawaii Health Connector. “We made numerous attempts to follow-up with individuals including multiple phone calls, email reminders and postal letters, urging individuals to complete the process by simply selecting a plan of their choosing. Once they take action, they may start receiving coverage as early as June 1.”

This final deadline for 2014 health care coverage was announced when the Connector extended the grace period for individuals who started the application process, but did not select a plan.

Applicants may complete their enrollment process by visiting a community partner for face-to-face, personalized assistance. Visit hawaiihealthconnector.com and click on the Marketplace Assister tab to find a convenient community partner by zip code. Applicants may also complete their enrollment process directly at connecthawaii.com or by calling the Connector’s Customer Support Center from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 877-628-5076 or TTY/TDD at 855-585-8604.

After the grace period for individuals comes to a close, the Connector will focus on assisting small businesses with employee health care coverage. The next open enrollment period begins Nov. 15 for health care coverage in 2015.

Shriners meet for lunch Wednesday

Visiting Shriners are invited to join the area club for lunch at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Fish Hopper restaurant in Kailua-Kona.

Cacao seminars planned during fest

The public can find out how to best grow the bean that makes chocolate — cacao — from an international expert and Kona farmer at seminars and activities offered during the three-day Big Island Chocolate Festival Thursday through Saturday.

Take a tour of a working cacao farm and learn how organically produced soap using cacao is made from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday with Greg Colden of Kona Natural Soap Co. Fee is $25.

Seminars move Friday and Saturday to the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii. At 2:30 p.m. Friday, “Selecting Cacao Cultivar for Flavor” is presented by Ed Seguine, a 45-year cacao veteran and consultant with Seguine Cacao, Cocoa &Chocolate Advisors. He will discuss the segregation of agronomic and flavor traits in seed-grown cacao. Examples of breeding for flavor will be shown and tasting evaluated, plus techniques for small-scale micro-fermentation. Fee is $50.

At 11:15 a.m. Saturday, Colden discusses “Cacao as a Value Added Product for Business.” The Kona entrepreneur shares nonchocolate uses for cacao. Fee is $30.

Buy tickets online at bigislandchocolatefestival.com or at the door.

Evans speaking to hui on Friday

West Hawaii Hui Laulima meets from 10:30 a.m. to noon Friday at the West Hawaii Community Health Center community meeting room. State Rep. Cindy Evans will give a legislative update and gather concerns and recommendations from West Hawaii service providers.

All social service providers are encouraged to attend. Because of space limitations, call Linda Jeffrey at 327-4300, ext. 2432, for attendance purposes.

For more information, contact Jeffrey at the above number or khparentcenter@yahoo.com.

Zumbathon benefits Special Olympics

Katie Moore of Katie Moore Fitness is hosting a Zumbathon from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Friday at Kona International Market in Kailua-Kona. The theme is “Party Like a Rockstar.” All proceeds go to Special Olympics West Hawaii to provide year-round sports and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

Tickets are $15 and may be purchased in advance or at the door. Participants should bring water. For more information, contact Moore at 895-2401 or onetallbeauty@gmail.com.