Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, April 27, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 13



 Mountain Views News Saturday, April 27, 2013 


Dear Savvy Senior:

What can you tell me about the new Obamacare 
health insurance exchanges that begin next year? I 
am interested in retiring early at age 61, but need to 
find some affordable health until my Medicare benefits 
begin at 65. Ready to Retire

Dear Ready:

The new health insurance exchanges – also known as Health Insurance Marketplaces – that begin 
in 2014 will be a welcome benefit to millions of Americans who need health insurance, especially 
uninsured baby boomers and pre-Medicare retirees who often have a difficult time finding affordable 

How It Will Work

As part of the Affordable Care Act, starting Oct. 1 you will be able to shop and compare health 
insurance policies in your area, and enroll in one directly through your state’s Health Insurance 
Marketplace website. The policies will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. 

You’ll also be happy to know that federal law dictates that Marketplace insurers cannot deny you 
coverage or charge you higher rates based on pre-existing health conditions, and they can’t charge 
women more than men. But, they can charge older customers more than younger ones – up to three 
times more.

Every state will have a Marketplace, but each state can choose how it will operate. Seventeen states 
and the District of Columbia will run their own state-based Marketplace, seven states will partner 
with the federal government, and 26 states will offer federal Marketplaces. The differences between 
federal and state programs will be subtle. You will be able to access your state’s Health Insurance 
Marketplace at

The policies available through these Marketplaces will be sold by insurance companies and will 
provide a package of 10 essential benefits, including emergency services, hospital care, lab services, 
prescription drugs, doctor visits, preventive care and rehab services.

To make shopping and comparing a little easier, the health plans will be divided into four different 
levels – bronze, silver, gold and platinum – each offering similar benefits but with a different cost 
structure. The bronze plan will have the lowest monthly premiums but have highest out-of-pocket 
costs, while the platinum plans will have the highest premiums but the lowest deductibles and co-

The Marketplaces will also offer a toll-free hotline to help you choose a plan that meets your needs 
and budget. These helpers aren’t associated with any particular plan, and they aren’t on any type of 
commission, so the help they give you will be completely unbiased.

Costs and Tax-Credits

Prices will vary depending on where you live, your age and the health plan you choose. Exact cost 
structures for most Marketplaces will be released within the next few months. 

To help make coverage affordable, sliding scale tax-credits will be available if you earn less than 400 
percent of the poverty level – that’s $45,960 for a single person and $62,040 for couples. These tax-
credit subsidies will provide immediate savings off your monthly premiums. 

To find out if you qualify, or see how much a tax-credit will reduce your monthly costs, you’ll need to 
submit a Marketplace application in October, or when you decide enroll. In the meantime, you can 
calculate your potential tax-credit premium savings by using the Kaiser Family Foundation calculator 
at – click on “Interactive Features” and then scroll down to “Subsidy Calculator.”

For more information on the Health Insurance Marketplaces including a checklist of things you can 
do now to help you choose a plan, visit

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy 
Senior” book.


By Pat Birdsall

FYI - Selfishly, I’d like to use this space to thank the many wonderful people who helped me after 
my hip-replacement surgery, broken femur, vocal cord closure and a raging allergy! Eric Wilhelm, 
thank you for building the platform I needed to get in and out of my very high bed. Louise Neiby, 
thank you for lending me the much needed medical equipment. (Unfortunately, Louise had it on 
hand because after years of Fosamax use, her femur shattered in three places and she fell needing 
surgery). Louise also went to the market for me, picked me up from the hospital and was and was 
a kind and knowledgeable voice at the other end of the phone. I am blessed also to have wonderful 
neighbors: Terry Barbour, Mike and Shirley Williams, Ray & Cindy Baran and Anthe & Carlos Gomez. 
Between Terry and Mike, my trash cans make it out for pick-up and back again. Cindy Baran took me 
to the Huntington Hospital where she and her wee dog, Happy volunteer. She got me to my pre-op 
class and then back again the next day for surgery. She & Ray also went grocery shopping for me. 
Anthe & Carlos fed my cats twice a day generally looked after many things for me including a stop at 
In & Out. I honestly couldn’t have managed at all without them. My friend, Ken Anhalt brought me 
delicious homemade soups, as did Linda Boehm. Linda also shopped for me and took me to several 
doctor’s appointments. Hilda Pittman thanks too, for shopping for me and for taking me to the 
doctor. Susan Henderson, thanks for shopping for me and going with me to see my surgeon prior to 
surgery and for the flowers after surgery. Ann Luke, thank you for calling me every week to see how 
I’m progressing and offering to bring me meals that John Luke prepared. To Jan and Roger Deibold 
for making that necessary tapioca run for me. To all the people who sent cards and called, thank 
you! Last but certainly not least, a special thanks to my son, Chris, who turned out to be just what 
the doctor ordered! He came here from Philadelphia to spend over a week with me and was able to 
change his departure date after I broke my femur... Thank goodness! As many of you know, he suffers 
from a bone disease and was my knowledgeable and much needed “coach.” 

Thanks to everyone!


HELPFUL HINT: A frozen, saturated sponge in a plastic bag makes an icepack that won’t 
drip all over when it melts.



 90 year old Bessie bursts into the rec room at the retirement home. She holds her clenched fist in the 
air and announces, “Anyone who can guess what’s in my hand can have a kiss. An elderly gentleman 
in the back of the room shouts out, “An elephant.”

Bessie thinks for a minute and says, “Close enough.”

 ~ ~ ~

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! … April Birthdays


Howard Rubin, Mary Harley, Bette White, Dorothy White, Doris Behrens, Freda 
Bernard,Beth Copti, Terri Cummings, Marilyn Diaz, Virginia Elliott, Elma Flores, Julia 
Gottesman, Betty Jo Gregg, Barbara Lampman, Betty Mackie, Elizabeth Rassmusen, 
Maria Reyes, Anne Schryver, Chrisine Bachwansky, Colleen McKernan, Sandy Swanson, 
Hank Landsberg and to my friend, Ken Anhalt, a very special 90th birthday wish to you!

* To add your name to this distinguished list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737. YEAR of birth 
not required


Quote of the Week: 

 The greatest wealth is health ~ Virgil


ACTIVITIES: Unless listed differently, all activities are at the Hart Park 
House (Senior Center) 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre


 YMCA San Gabriel Valley Intervale Senior Café: Monday-Friday at 12:00 Noon

 (Participants are urged to arrive no later than 11:45 A.M.) 

 All seniors 60 and up can take part in the lunch program. There is a suggested donation of $2.00 
for those 60 and over and $3.75 for non-senior guests. Daily reservations are necessary as space is 
limited. Please call 24 hours in advance...626.355.0256

Free Blood Pressure Testing: On the 2nd Tuesday of the month 11:00 am-12:00 pm: A nurse from 
Methodist Hospital, Arcadia volunteers to do the readings. No appointment necessary.


Bingo: Every Tuesday afternoon from 1:00 pm- 3:00 pm Cards are only .25c each! 

Free Chair Yoga: Every Wednesday morning from 11:00 am-11:45 am Volunteer Teryl Willis offers 
this class that focuses on senior yoga techniques. It is geared toward gentle movements, breathing 
techniques and balance improvement. No reservations are necessary.

Free Legal Consultation: Pasadena attorney Geoffrey Chin volunteers on the 2nd Wednesday of 
the month. He focuses on estate planning, trusts, wills, probate, conservatorships and business law. 
*Appointments are a must! Please call: 626.355.7394 to make yours* Conflicting court schedules 
can occasionally cause cancellations.

Free Income Tax Assistance: Wednesdays through April 10th from 1:00 pm-2:00 pm. Don 
Brunner is available to all seniors for income tax consultation. Appointments are a must- Call 
(626) 355-7394 to make yours.

Birthday Celebrations: The 2nd Thursday of the month the Senior Center celebrates the birthdays 
of our patrons at 12:30 pm. Please join us for free cake and ice cream and “celebration.” (The cakes 
are provided due to a generous donation from the Sierra Madre Civic Club.)

Game Day: Every Thursday at 1:00pm. Poker is usually the game of choice, or should I say chance? 
Board games and other card games are also available. Outside, on the patio, a beautiful, one-of-a-
kind chess table is anxious for players.

Free Strength Training Class: Every Friday from 1:00 pm -1:45 pm Conducted by long-time 
volunteer, Lisa Brandley. The class utilizes light weights for low-impact resistance training. Weights 
are provided by the Sierra Madre Senior Center. It’s a great way to stay in shape and to

 socialize with your peers. (Gossip included)

Senior Citizens Club: Every Saturday at the Hart Park House (Senior Center). Brown bag lunch at 
11:30am; Club meeting at Noon; Bingo 12:30- 3:30 pm. Only .25c per card… For more information 
call Pat Birdsall at 626.355.7290.

Lunch & Learn: Wednesday, April 24, 2013- 12:15 – 1:15

Topic: Collecting, Cluttering, Hoarding. The items that gather, as we age, often mean more than just 
the objects alone could to anyone else. These objects represent memories, travels, friends, love and 
more. Join the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) as they provide an 
informative presentation on hoarding. LACDMH staff will distinguish between collecting, cluttering 
and hoarding, and emphasize the need for treatment for those who have a significant problem.


Palm Springs Follies Palm Springs, California

 Date: Thursday, April 25, 2013 Time: 8:30 am-6:00 pm

 Meeting Location: Hart Park House Senior Center

 Cost: $63.00 (does not include lunch)

Upon arrival in Palm Springs participants can shop and lunch at nearby stores and restaurants all 
within walking distance of the theater. The Palm Springs Follies is a Broadway-caliber celebration 
of the music, dance and comedy of the 40s, 50s, and 60s with a cast old enough to have lived it! The 
performance begins at 1:30 pm and is approximately 2 1/2 hours in length. Excursion price includes 
transportation, driver’s tip and a ticket to the Follies. Participants are asked to bring additional 
money for shopping and lunch. Some walking is involved.

California Science Center Los Angeles, Ca. 

Date: Friday, May 17, 2013 Time: 9:30 am- 3:30 pm

Meeting Location: Hart Park House Senior Center

Cost: $16.00 (Does not include lunch)

Join us on a visit to the California Science Center, the west coast’s largest hands-on science center! 
The trip will include a tour of the Space Shuttle Endeavor exhibit, which showcases images and 
artifacts that relate to the shuttle program in California where the orbiters were built. After the 
tour enjoy the IMAX presentation “The Blue Planet,” which features footage taken by crews during 
five space shuttle missions. In between the tour and IMAX presentation participants will have the 
chance to lunch as well as an opportunity to visit the rest of the Science Center. Participants may 
bring their own lunch or purchase lunch at the Science Center Café. 

Save the Dates!

Friday, June 28, 2013- Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)

Friday, July 12, 2013- Pageant of the Masters (evening excursion)

*Registering for Excursions can be done in person at the Hart Park House Senior Center and the 
Community Recreation Center or online at Cash, checks, and credit 
cards are accepted. Make checks payable “City of Sierra Madre”. Payment must be made at the time 
of reservation.


Senior Movie Program: FREE movies are shown on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month. 
The films, one contemporary and one vintage, are chosen by the seniors themselves. April’s selections:

Start time: 1:00 PM in Sierra Madre’s City Council Chambers, 232 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., SM


The City of Pasadena Michael D. Antonovich Dental Clinic is a brand new, state-of-the-art facility 
to help improve access to oral health services for HIV-positive persons. Services will eventually be 
expanded to the homeless, seniors, young children and other underserved populations in Pasadena 
and the Greater San Gabriel Valley. The “high tech” clinic is beautiful, ready to serve the public and 
is “green” or paperless—all forms and X-rays are done electronically.

WHERE: City’s Public Health Department 1845 N. Fair Oaks Ave. - Pasadena, CA

For more information about the City of Pasadena Michael D. Antonovich Dental Clinic, call (626) 
744-6350 or go to


Your health depends on clean air!

California has made tremendous advances 
in improving the state's air quality over 
the past 20 years, but more still needs to 

 The health of Californians continues to 
be at risk from dangerous pollutants we 
breathe everyday. You can help us in the 
Fight For Air by making personal changes 
in the way you live - even the smallest 
things make a big difference. 

 Here are 10 basic steps you can take to 
help California reduce pollution and contribute 
to cleaner, healthier air:

1. Drive one less day per week, and bike or 
walk as often as possible.

Cut down on driving. Try out the bus or 
light rail if you have one in your area. Using 
public transportation, walking and 
biking are all great ways to clean the air 
and get healthier through exercise. Harmful 
motor vehicle and other transportation 
emissions account for more than half of all 
pollution on a statewide basis.

2. Conserve energy.

Turn off lights when you leave a room and 
only run your dishwasher when full. Replace 
your light bulbs with compact fluorescent 
bulbs. Only use the air conditioning 
or heater when necessary or automatically set 
the thermostat to go off when you don’t need it. 
Visit the Flex Your Power website to learn more 

3. Ride a bike! 

Biking – even just a few times a week – is not only 
great exercise, it’s a great way to decrease air pollution! 
Research your city's bike routes and commit 
to replacing your car with your bike 1-2 times 
a week. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe on 
your bike:

4. Reduce the amount of time you idle your car. 

Idling for only 30 seconds uses up more fuel than 
restarting the engine. If you expect to idle for 
more than 30 seconds, turn off the engine and 
then restart (except in traffic, of course). Instead 
of idling in bank or restaurant drive-through 
lines, park your car and go inside. You will save 
fuel and prevent pollution! http://www.consumerenergycenter.

5. Use a natural or propane gas grill for outdoor 

This summer, cut down on outdoor grill use or 
use a propane or natural gas grill. The smoke 
a traditional barbecue grill creates adds to air 
pollution. If you do use a barbecue, use a metal 
chimney or electric probe instead of lighter fluid.

6. When washing clothes, wash in cold water. 

A whopping 90 percent of the energy used by 
a washing machine goes to just heating the water. 
Washing clothes in warm or cold water will 
save you money and reduce your carbon dioxide 
emissions by 72 pounds in just one month!

7. Avoid burning wood.

Avoid use of wood burning in indoor and outdoor 
fireplaces. Just like tobacco smoke, wood 
smoke pollution is harmful to your health. Wood 
burning comprises 33 percent of particle pollution 
during the winter in some areas. Cleaner 
burning alternatives such as natural gas and electric 
fireplaces are available for the glow without 
the smoke!

8. If buying a car, consider a cleaner and more 
efficient electric or hybrid-electric car or a very 
low emission vehicle. 

Every day, Californians drive 825 million miles 
– emitting 5.4 million tons of pollutants daily. 
Choosing a cleaner car has never been easier. Every 
new car in California now has an Environmental 
Performance Label showing how clean 
the car is for both smog and greenhouse gases. 
State and federal tax credits and rebates exist to 
encourage cleaner car purchases. From electric 
cars and hybrids to very low emission gas vehicles, 
cleaner technologies are available now. See for more details.

9. Purchase energy efficient appliances. 

Did you know you could earn money while helping 
clean California’s air? When you replace your 
old, energy draining appliances (refrigerators, 
washers and air conditioners) for new Energy 
Star products you will receive a government rebate! 
Visit for more 

10. Donate to the American Lung Association 
in California. The American Lung Association in 
California fights for your right to breathe clean 
air by pushing for policies to ensure a legacy of 
healthy air for California. We can't do it without 
your support!