05 25 2016
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  • On Tuesday, a judge ordered the 78-year-old Cosby to stand trial on sexual assault charges 
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  • The judge concluded Officer Edward Nero played little role in the arrest and wasn't responsible for the failure by police to buckle Gray in  
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  • Bill Cosby faces a preliminary hearing Tuesday to determine if his criminal sex-assault case in suburban Philadelphia goes to trial.Prosecutors had declined to charge the comedian-actor over the 2005 complaint, but arrested him in December after his explosive deposition in the woman's lawsuit became public. In the testimony given in that deposition, Cosby is grilled about giving drugs and alcohol to women before sex; making secret payments to ex-lovers; and hosting Andrea Constand at his home. They knew each other through Temple University, where he was a trustee and she managed the women's basketball team. Bill Cosby's wife refused to answer dozens of questions during a combative deposition in a defamation lawsuit filed by seven women who say the comedian branded them liars after they accused him of sexually assaulting them, according to a transcript released Friday. Camille Cosby was subjected to intense questioning by the women's lawyer, who repeatedly pressed her to say whether she believes her husband "acted with a lack of integrity" during their 52-year marriage. The lawyer also asked if her husband used his position and power "to manipulate young women." Camille Cosby didn't answer those questions and many others after her lawyer cited marital privilege, the legal protection given to communications between spouses. She repeatedly said she had "no opinion" when pressed on whether she viewed her husband's behavior as dishonest and a violation of their marriage vows. About 50 women have publicly accused Bill Cosby of forcing unwanted sexual contact on them decades ago. Cosby has denied the allegations. He faces a criminal case in Pennsylvania, where prosecutors have charged him with sexually violating a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand. He has pleaded not guilty. Camille Cosby answered questions in the deposition Feb. 22 and again April 19 after her lawyers argued unsuccessfully to stop it. A judge ruled she would have to give a deposition but said she could refuse to answer questions about private communications between her and her husband. Camille Cosby's lawyer, Monique Pressley, repeatedly cited that privilege and advised her not to answer many questions asked by the women's lawyer, Joseph Cammarata. The exchanges between Cammarata and Cosby became testy at times, and she admonished him: "Don't lecture me. Just keep going with the questions." Using a transcript of a deposition Bill Cosby gave in a civil lawsuit filed by Constand in 2005 and a transcript of an interview she gave to Oprah Winfrey in 2000, Cammarata asked Camille Cosby about extramarital affairs her husband had. "Were you aware of your husband setting up trusts for the benefit of women that he had a sexual relationship with?" Cammarata asked. She didn't answer after her lawyer cited marital privilege. Cammarata asked her about Shawn Thompson, a woman who said Bill Cosby fathered her daughter, Autumn Jackson, in the 1970s. Jackson was convicted in 1997 of attempting to extort money from Bill Cosby to prevent her from telling a tabloid she's his daughter. He acknowledged he had an affair with her mother and had given her money. "Was it a big deal when this came up in the 1970s that your husband had — big deal to you that your husband had an extramarital affair and potentially had a daughter from that extramarital affair?" Cammarata asked. "It was a big deal then, yes," Camille Cosby replied. She said she had "no opinion" on whether her husband's admission he obtained quaaludes to give to women with whom he wanted to have sex violated their marriage vows. Her lawyer objected and instructed her not to answer when Cammarata asked her if she ever suspected she had been given any type of drug to alter her state of consciousness when she had sex with her husband. A spokesman for the Cosbys declined to comment on her deposition. The Cosbys have a home in Shelburne Falls, an hour's drive from Springfield, where the lawsuit, seeking unspecified damages, was filed. An attorney handling a separate lawsuit against Bill Cosby revealed Friday that Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner provided sworn testimony Wednesday. In the sexual battery lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, Judy Huth says Cosby forced her to perform a sex act on him at the Playboy Mansion around 1974, when she was 15. Bill Cosby's former lawyers have accused Huth of attempting to extort him before filing the case and have tried unsuccessfully to have it dismissed. Huth's attorney, Gloria Allred, said Hefner's testimony will remain under seal for now. Hefner also was named as a defendant in a case filed Monday by former model Chloe Goins, who accuses Bill Cosby of drugging and sexually abusing her at the Playboy Mansion in 2008.   The Associated Press generally doesn't identify people who say they're victims of sexual abuse, but the women accusing Cosby have come forward to tell their stories.___AP Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report from Los Angeles.
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In this Nov. 14 photo, navigator Laetita Badio, front, works with the Get Covered Connector tool during a training session for navigators.  Lynne Sadkly of the Associated Press

 

Many Oregon Health Plan members are due to renew their benefits before the end of the year on Dec. 31.

Contrary to the private health insurance plans available through the Affordable Care Act, you can apply for OHP at any time, however, members do have to renew their benefits once every year.

Renewal dates are unique for every person and not everyone renews at the same time.

Oregon Health Authority has been mailing letters to everyone who is due to renew as a reminder, complete with instructions on how to apply.

State officials are urging people to not wait until the last minute, and to pay attention to the instructions in the letter. Some people need to fill out a full application, but other OHP members will simply need to complete a brief consent form.

 “If you received a letter from us, please take action right away,” says Judy Mohr Peterson, Oregon’s Medicaid Director. “We want to make sure that everyone who is still qualified for the Oregon Health Plan keeps their benefits and that people who no longer qualify know how to get private coverage.”

For the first time, some of the people up for renewal will be able to reapply through the federal insurance marketplace, HealthCare.gov. That change means Oregonians will learn right away if they still qualify for OHP; those that don’t will learn on the spot what their options are for private coverage, including any financial assistance available.

To qualify for the Oregon Health Plan people must meet certain income and residency requirements. For example, a family of four can earn up to $32,900 a year and may qualify for coverage. To maintain coverage, OHP members must update their information each year.

To purchase private coverage that goes into effect Jan. 1, 2015 people must enroll by Mon.,Dec. 15, this year. It is worth noting that, only about one in 10 Oregonians who previously signed up for private health care insurance through the state health insurance exchange has re-enrolled through the federal portal, according to the Associated Press.

OHP members needing assistance renewing or applying for coverage, should visit OregonHealthCare.gov online where people  can ask questions for you, and direct you to the proper federal or local forms online.

For people who don’t have online access, or otherwise need help filling out an application, there is local assistance available in their community to help. To learn more about how Oregonians can find help, visit OregonHealthCare.gov.

“This year there have been a lot of changes to how people apply and renew health care coverage, but here are the most important things to know: If you get a letter from us take action, and if you need help there is local assistance available,” Peterson adds.

OHP members should always keep their address current to make sure they receive messages about their coverage. Members should call or email changes to OHP Customer Service at 1-800-699-9075 or oregonhealthplan.changes@state.or.us.

To learn more about the Oregon Health Plan or renewing OHP benefits, visit OregonHealthCare.gov. 

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