|District Update | November 18, 2020
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As a strong advocate of religious freedom, I recognize that while in the United States we experience religious freedom as a fundamental right, around the world, many are still persecuted simply for practicing their right to worship.
This week my resolution, H.Res.49 Supporting Coptic Christians in Egypt was featured in the Arkansas Catholic.
In the article, I explained that while religious freedom is a fundamental part of our foreign policy, religious minorities across the world such as the Coptic Christians are still experiencing persecution at the hands of their own countrymen.
My resolution would provide support for these Coptic Christians, who are still experiencing persecution not only from terrorist groups such as ISIS but also from their fellow Egyptians. In particular, the resolution would mandate Egyptian government reforms to hold local officials responsible for religious persecution and to give Christians the same rights as other Egyptians.
Last week, I hosted a luncheon with members of the conservation community in Arkansas, welcoming Troy Heithecker who is the new Forest Supervisor of the Ouachita National Forest.
We celebrated the historic conservation legislative victories passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump including the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act, the Omnibus Public Lands Package, and the Save Our Seas Act. Our land, water resources, and our national parks will all benefit from these key legislative measures.
I thank Scott Simon from The Nature Conservancy in Arkansas; Stacy Hurst from the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism; Arkansas State Forester Joe Fox, Doug Akin, State Forester for U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service's Arkansas State Office, and Bryan Hendricks for their participation at this wonderful event.
I will continue to support legislation that protects America’s great outdoors, and I will talk with local leaders about ways to support conservation efforts, to protect our natural resources for future generations.
Right now, you can enroll in or change your 2021 Marketplace health insurance. The Open Enrollment Period runs from November 1, 2020 - December 15, 2020. Plans purchased during this period will start on January 1, 2021.
If you do not complete your enrollment by Tuesday, December 15th, you cannot get 2021 coverage unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
• Create an account HERE
• Update your application and compare plans for 2021 HERE
• Preview 2021 plans with estimates based on income HERE
The open enrollment period is also underway for Medicare and will continue until December 7, 2020. Medicare beneficiaries can review their 2021 Medicare and prescription drug plan options and change plans if they choose. Any changes will take effect on January 1, 2021.
To compare plans or select a new one, please visit HERE or call 1-800-MEDICARE.
For more information about your current plan’s costs, benefits, and rules for 2021, please visit HERE
If you are currently covered by Medicare Advantage and/or Medicare Part D, please review the Annual Notice of Change and/or Evidence of Coverage forms that you have received from your plan.
It is important to note that open enrollment is also occurring for private and employer-based insurance and that there may be more changes than usual this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
I am proud to have a dedicated team in Arkansas who can assist you with matters involving the federal government. If you have any questions about Social Security benefits, the Internal Revenue Service, or federal healthcare programs, please contact my office at (501) 324-5941.
If you don't file taxes every year and you are eligible for an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) and have not used the Non-Filers tool, you must register online by November 21stusing the Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here tool.
For those unable to access the Non-Filers tool, they may submit a simplified paper return following the procedures described in this FAQ on IRS.gov.
Any person who misses the November 21st deadline will need to wait until next year and claim it as a credit on their 2020 federal income tax return.
Those who received their original EIP by direct deposit will also have any supplemental payment direct deposited to the same account. Others will receive a check.
Eligible recipients can check the status of their payments using the Get My Payment tool on IRS.gov.
If you have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath OR if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, testing is available in Arkansas.
Call ahead to your health care provider or schedule a test at a local health unit, HERE.
According to the Arkansas Department of Health, testing capacity for COVID-19 at commercial labs has increased significantly over the past week. This means a shorter turnaround time for results for you.
The health units, which are located in every county in the state, are now open from 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM.
In addition, local health units across Arkansas are open later on Tuesdays so that services including flu vaccinations and COVID-19 tests are available after normal business hours.
You can find a full list of local health unit COVID-19 testing locations HERE.
You also should know that test providers must publish the cash price of tests on their websites so that Arkansans are not faced with surprise charges related to COVID-19 testing.
It is my honor to represent you in Congress.
Please contact me at (501) 324-5941 or Hill.House.Gov if I may be of service to you.
Representative French Hill