The Day

Health care advocate recovers $11.2M Church continues Easter-themed plays

- By JOE WOJTAS Day Staff Writer

Hartford (AP) — Connecticu­t's health care advocate says his office recovered $11.2 million for consumers from insurers last year.

Health care Advocate Ted Doolittle says the figure marks a new annual high for the independen­t state agency, which helps consumers with billing disputes, eligibilit­y issues, health plan education and appeals of health insurance denials.

The agency has recovered a total of $81.8 million since it began operations in 2001.

The $11.2 million represents the cost of health care services, procedures, claims and coverage that consumers would have paid unless the state agency had not intervened. The agency represents consumers, free of charge, on issues ranging from denials of coverage for medical necessitie­s to unwarrante­d billing actions and coding errors.

Consumers who need assistance can call 1-866-4664446, or email OHA at

Stonington — Members of the Lighthouse Community Baptist Church will carry on its tradition next week of presenting an Easter-themed play with a new production created by Lori Jones, the wife of church pastor Ray Jones.

Called “Voices In The Crowd,” it shares the opinions of seven people whose lives were changed by Jesus and who speak out from the crowd during pivotal scenes during the week leading up to Easter.

The church will present the hour-long play, which is appropriat­e for ages 8 and up, on Maundy Thursday, April 13, and Good Friday, April 14, at 7 p.m. The plays are free and open to the public.

Jones, a music teacher, said the people who cry out from the crowd are all real life people found in the Bible. Some of them were people healed by Jesus and may have been at the events leading up to the crucifixio­n and Easter.

For example, she said that during the scene in which Pilate asks the crowd what they want him to do with Jesus and they yell “crucify him,” one woman cries out in opposition and then explains why she feels that way.

She said that with the scenes accompanie­d by musical narration and lighting that spotlights the speaker, the play becomes more of an opportunit­y for reflection on the part of those who attend.

She said two factors, one logistical and one spiritual, influenced the creation of this year's play. First, she had a smaller cast to work with. And while her past production­s were more loosely associated with Easter, with this play she “wanted to walk people through the Passion week in a clear way.” It ends with “a hint of the tomb” on Easter morning.

She said one thing that helps her and the church present plays each year is that it has a group of members who enjoy performing in dramatic production­s.

“It's what they live for,” she said. “It allows them to use their gift to serve God in a different way.”

Over the past eight years, the church at 22 Pequot Trail has staged several of Jones' production­s. One, the “Living Last Supper,” was a living version of Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting. During certain points during the production, each of the disciples and Jesus came alive and spoke.

In 2013, the church presented “The Healing” that focused on the women who followed Jesus from his arrest to his crucifixio­n. In 2014, it presented Jones' play called “The Revealing,” which covered the period from just before Jesus died on the cross until the empty tomb is discovered on Sunday morning.

“I love to write. And I love to see our people take what I've written, bring it to life and help God touch people's hearts.”

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