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June 21 - June 27 Weekend Update

Several new Indiana laws go into July 1. Here are some that will impact health and wellness.

  • Most health care providers must prepare, upon request, a good faith estimate of the costs of nonemergency health care services ordered or scheduled for a patient -- to minimize surprise medical bills.

  • Health insurance sold in Indiana that provides coverage for mastectomies, must also provide coverage for custom fabricated breast prostheses, including one additional breast prosthesis per breast affected by the mastectomy.

  • A prescription no longer is required to purchase insulin in Indiana beginning Jan. 1, 2021.

  • Hospitals, same-day surgery centers and urgent care clinics are required by March 31, 2021 to post on their websites the costs of their most frequently used services.

  • Health insurance companies, in most circumstances, are obligated to cover colorectal cancer screening beginning at age 45, instead of 50.

The Gary Health Department continues to offer COVID-19 testing at 1145 W. Fifth Ave., by appointment on Tuesdays and Thursdays. No upfront payment is necessary, but guests are encouraged to bring any proof of insurance to the testing site. Doctors' orders are not required.

Additional drive-thru testing sites are available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Wednesday, at Oliver P. Morton High School, 6915 Grand Ave., in Hammond.

To find testing locations around the state, visit www. coronavirus. IN .gov and click on the COVID-19 testing information link. More than 200 locations are available around the state, including sites in Valparaiso and Michigan City.

Indiana Department of Workforce Development Commissioner Fred Payne said the state has overpaid some unemployment claims, though he could not provide numbers.

Payne said D W D has a fraud team that tackles fraud “every day.” He said Indiana’s 14-day waiting period after claims are filed allows employers to protest claims and protects the state from fraud.

Payne advised employers to make sure they are reviewing claims and told individuals to protect their personal information so that it isn’t fraudulently used.

Governor Eric J. Holcomb today announced the Indiana COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program, which will use $25 million in federal CARES Act funding to help Hoosiers struggling to pay rent due to the impact of COVID-19.

To be eligible, renters must meet the following criteria:

· Lost their job or part of their income due to COVID-19

· Current household income, including unemployment, is less than the household income on March 6

· Have not received rental assistance from another source

Applications will be accepted online beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday, July 13 at www.indiana housing now.org.

While many businesses are being allowed to reopen in Chicago and with attractions like Navy Pier and the Lakefront Trail following suit, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot warns that city residents shouldn’t expect to see playgrounds and beaches open any time soon.

On Monday, the city announced that it would move forward into Phase Four of its reopening plan amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but beaches and playgrounds are not among the locations that will be allowed to reopen at this time.

Mayor Jerome Prince of Gary said the city of Gary still sees a significant number of visitors from Illinois that may put residents at risk.

The City of Gary reported one new death from COVId-19 on Tuesday. That brings the total deaths in the city due to the virus to 56. However, the city has not seen serious surges in new cases and the increase in cases has remained in the single digits. The total number of cases in the City of Gary is 769.

Mayor Jerome Prince of Gary said that everyone must remain vigilant in the fight against the pandemic. The city still sees a significant number of visitors from Illinois that may put residents at risk.

Hammond reports 841 cases and 20 deaths.

East Chicago has seen an increase in cases from Monday to Tuesday of 13 new cases. The total number of cases in East Chicago is now 461. The City has seen 4 additional deaths in June and their total is 14.

Adult Education and Learning Centers of Northwest Indiana will be providing scholarships to cover the $95 cost of High School Equivalency (HSE) testing for adult learners enrolled in their programs throughout Northwest Indiana.

Funding for the scholarships comes from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, and serves as an incentive for individuals to complete their high school equivalency, making them eligible for better paying jobs and entry into training.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on-site class time will be limited, with most coursework completed on-line through ZOOM.

The grocery store Aldi’s is offering curbside pickup in which employees load groceries ordered online into customers' cars in 600 locations nationwide by the end of July. The service is now available in Porter, Valparaiso, Merrillville, Gary, Hammond, Michigan City and Lansing.

Customers can place orders on Aldi's website or mobile app, selecting a pickup time when they check out. The grocery chain is designating parking spots for curbside pickup of any items in the store, including produce, meat, dairy, baked goods, and liquor. Go to shop.aldi.us to place your order.

The Federal Transit Administration has awarded the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation $1.2 million for transit-oriented development.

The developments will take place around the South Shore Line’s existing stations and at new ones along the planned West Lake Corridor and Double Track projects.

The existing stations will be centers of new housing and business development.

U.S. Steel expects to post a loss of $315 million in the second quarter. It projects it will need $700 million in liquidity to make it through 2020, one of the most challenging years in recent memory.