Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, July 8, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:10

Mountain Views-News Saturday, July 8, 2017 10 THE GOOD LIFE THE GOOD LIFE 

Dear Savvy Senior,
I just received my Medicare card in the mail and wassurprised to see that the ID number is the same asmy Social Security number. I know it’s a bad idea tocarry around anything that displays my Social Securitynumber because it makes me vulnerable to identitytheft. Wasn’t the government supposed to stop puttingSocial Security numbers on Medicare cards? 

New Beneficiary 

Dear New, 
Many people new to Medicare are surprised to learnthat the ID number on their Medicare card is still 
identical to their Social Security number (SSN). Afterall, we’re constantly warned not to carry our SSNaround with us, because if it gets lost or stolen, theresult could be identity theft.

But the card itself tells beneficiaries to carry it withyou when you are away from home so you can showit at the doctor’s office or hospital when you needmedical care. Here’s what you should do to protectyourself. 

New Medicare Cards 

For starters, you’ll be happy to know that thegovernment is in the process of removing SSNs fromMedicare cards, but with 58 million beneficiaries, it’s a 
huge undertaking that will be implemented gradually.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will 
start sending the new cards in April 2018, but it willtake until December 2019 before SSNs are removed 
from all cards. 

Under the new system, a randomly generated 
11-character Medicare Beneficiary Identifier will 
replace the SSN-based health claim number on yournew Medicare card, but your Medicare benefits willnot change.

You will receive information in 2018 lettingyou know about the new Medicare card, with anexplanation of how to use the new card and what todo with your old one. You can start using your newMedicare card with the new number as soon as youreceive it, and there should be a transition period in2018 and 2019 when you can use either the old card orthe new card. 

Protect Your Identity

Until your new Medicare card is issued, here’s what youcan do to protect your SSN on your current card. ThePrivacy Rights Clearinghouse, a national consumerresource on identity theft, recommends that you carryyour Medicare card only when you visit a health careprovider for the first time, so the provider can make acopy for their files. Otherwise, make a photocopy ofyour card and cut it down to wallet size. Then take ablack marker and black out the last four digits of yourSSN, and carry that instead in case of an emergency.

If your Medicare card does happen to get lost orstolen, you can replace it by calling Social Securityat 800-772-1213 or contact your local Social Securityoffice. You can also request a card online at
MyAccount. Your card will arrive in the mail in about30 days.

If your Medicare card that contains your SSN getslost or stolen, you’ll need to watch out for Medicarefraud. You can do this by checking your quarterlyMedicare summary notices for services or suppliesyou did not receive. You can also check your Medicareclaims early online at (you’ll needto create an account first), or by calling Medicare at800-633-4227. If you spot anything suspicious orwrong, call the Inspector General’s fraud hotline at800-447-8477. 

Also, watch for other signs of identity theft. Forexample, if someone uses your Social Securitynumber to obtain credit, loans, telephone accounts,
or other goods and services, report it immediately tothe Federal Trade Commission at 877-438-4338). This site will also give you specificsteps you’ll need to take to handle this problem.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit
Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show andauthor of “The Savvy Senior” book. 


It was summer, 1982. Regan wasof jealous rage. Gran’s living room had a large

President, the longest baseballfloor-to-ceiling window that looked out over the

game at Wrigley Field lasted 22quiet street she lived on. If Boots happened to see

innings, and the lowest August another cat outside he hurled himself against the

temperature in Cleveland window, practically frothing at the mouth. But, not 

was a cool 38°F. But such was being able to fight off his “competitor,” Boots lashednot the case in southern California. Rather than out at the closest living thing, which was typicallybeing remembered for this 

Gran’s leg.
trivia, the summer of 1982 was 

It was around this 
remembered as a particularly

time that Boots also developedbad flea season. However, the 

small bony protrusions on hisfleas didn’t bother me. I was six 

forehead, like little horns. Gran 
months away from being born,

tried to keep his anger at bay,
so I was well insulated. 

but it was not always possible.
My grandma had gone to

I was about four by this time,
visit family in Michigan, and left

and Gran would often watch me 
my mom in charge of watching

while Mom was at work. It was 
Boots, her cat. Being pregnant

on one of these days that Bootsand having other distractions,

went into another violent fit, and 
Mom did not immediately

sank his fangs deep into Gran’srealize that Gran’s house had 

ankle. With Gran down, I was 
become infested with fleas! They

left in his pathway. But seconds 
had taken up residence in the

before he lunged at me, Granshag carpet (this was early 80’s,

dove between us and quicklyremember). One day when she

pulled me into the safety of awent to feed Boots, Mom found 

him languishing on the carpet, his

 When Mom arrived that 
blood-drained body nearly dry to

afternoon, she found “what 
the bone. (Think Terry Thomas

looked like a crime scene!” 
in “The Abominable Dr. Phibes.” 

The white carpet was streakedYou must see this dark comedy

with bloody footprints leadingclassic if you haven’t already!)

toward the front door. She 
She and Dad took quick

heard a muffled sound comingaction and brought Boots to a

from the closet, “Mary! We’re invet in Arcadia. He prescribed 

here!” By now Boots’ bloodluststeroid treatments that were 

had ended, and he was placidlyadministered in a series of shots. 

The life and times of Boots 
Boots gradually recovered, and

ended a few years later when myby the time Gran returned from

mom and dad found him stiff 
her trip with a small kitten named

behind the loveseat. We never 
Squeaky, he had regained his pre

learned what, exactly, caused his 
drained plumpness. But unbeknownst to everyone,mania. Did his near brush with death push him“The Madness of Boots” had begun.over the edge? Had he been injected with some

Squeaky was, as the name implies, a small, timidpotent cocktail of hormones? Whatever was to 
female cat. Boots took an instant overprotectiveblame, the lesson of the story is to be very careful ifattitude toward her, and was often subject to fits you give a cat a steroid... 


HAPPY BIRTHDAY! ….July Birthdays 

Nina Bartolai, Mary Lou Caldwell, Louise Neiby, Eunice Banis, Betty Hansen, 
Christine Durfort, Shahrzad Azrani, Jeanne Borgedahl, Janet Cox, Dorothy 

Montgomery, Bess Pancoska, Janet Swanson, Linda Thunes, Barbara Watson, Pat 
Alcorn, Karma Bell, Alice Clark, Dorothy Jerneycic, and Betty Dos Remedios. 


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

Hawaiian & Polynesian Dance Class: Every Tuesday morning from 10a.m. to11a.m. Join instructor Barbara Dempsey as she leads you in the art of Hula. 

Bingo: Every Tuesday beginning at 1:00p.m. Cards are only $0.25 each!
Everyone is welcome to join. May be canceled if less than five people. 
Free Blood Pressure Testing: 2nd Tuesday of the month from 11a.m. to 12p.m. No appt. is necessary. 

Brain Games: Thursdays, 10:30a.m. to 11:30a.m., improve your memory and strengthen your 
brain. Activities facilitated by Senior Volunteers. 
Free Legal Consultation: Wednesdays from 10:30a.m. to Noon. Attorney Lem Makupson is
available for legal consultation. He specializes in Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Estates, and Injury.
Appointments are required by calling 626-355-7394. 

Senior Club: Meets every Saturday at the Hart Park House Senior Center. Brown Bag Lunch at 
Tax Assistance: Every Wednesday beginning on February 1st through April 12th from 1:00p.m.
to 2:00p.m. - Don Brunner is available for income tax consultation. Appointments are required by 
calling 626-355-7394. 

Chair Yoga: Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:00 to 11:45a.m. with Paul Hagen. 3rd Monday of each
month, a variety of balance exercises are practiced. All ability levels are encouraged and welcomed! 
*A suggested donation of $5 at one of the classes is requested, but is not required. 

Case Management: Case Management services are provided by the YWCA and provide assistance in a 
variety of areas. Appointments are required
and can be scheduled by calling the Hart
Park House Office at 626-355-7394. 

Birthday Celebrations: Every 2nd Thursday
of the month at the Hart Park House, share
some free birthday cake provided by the
Sierra Madre Civic Club. 

Game Day: Every Thursday starting at 
12:00p.m. Come join this group of Seniors in
a poker game. Other games are offered to all. 
Please note time change. 

Free Strength Training Class: Every
Friday from 12:45p.m. to 1:30p.m. with Lisa
Brandley. This energetic class utilizes light
weights for low impact resistance training.
All class materials are provided. 

Stress, Resilience, Positivity: Finding
Balance - by The Kensington Sierra Madre
Four Tuesdays, March 7 - 28th from 2:00 -
4:00p.m. Register by calling 213-821-6919
or 213-821-6908. 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: