Open Enrollment Period for Healthcare Ends – This weekend marks the end of another open enrollment period for the health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act. While this is the case for most of the country, some states have decided to extend the deadline to allow more users to join the program, which has been hit hard this season by the removal of the individual mandate and reduced funding for advertising under the Trump administration. The states that have extended the open enrollment period by one month, until January 15, include California, Colorado and New York. During this period, consumers can join a health insurance plan endorsed by the official market exchange or make changes to their policy. Those that miss the opportunity and cannot justify it for special reasons, such as a move, a divorce or death in the family, will have to wait until the following year to sign up. In general, the last few days of open enrollment see the highest demand and last-minute signup surge.
In Jarana Classes, Prisoners Learn about History and Racial Prejudice – For a group of inmates at the Norco prison, weekends are special. At this facility, located near Los Angeles, some inmates leave their cells for three hours to take classes on jarana, an instrument that is the soul of the music of the coastlands of the Gulf of Mexico. Their instructors, such as maestro Cesar Castro, are famous traditional musicians who, in addition to teaching them to play the instrument, inform them about the historical roots of this musical genre. This program, known as Arts in Corrections, is part of an effort by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the California Arts Council and the Alliance for California Traditional Arts. Its purpose is to rehabilitate prisoners and help them prepare for reintegration into their families and communities. Ruben Tapia attended one of these classes inside Norco.