Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, March 23, 2019

MVNews this week:  Page A:11



Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 23, 2019 


Dear Savvy Senior:

I will be retiring in a few months and need to get some health insurance for my wife and me until we 
can enroll in Medicare. What are my options? About to Retire

Dear About:

There are several places early retirees can find health insurance coverage before Medicare kicks in, 
but the best option for you and your wife will depend on your income level and your health care 
needs. Here’s where to look.

Government Marketplace

If your yearly income falls below the 400 percent poverty level after you retire, the Affordable Care 
Act (ACA aka Obamacare) marketplace is probably your best option for getting health cov-erage 
because of the premium subsidies they offer, which will reduce the amount you’ll have to pay for a 

ACA health insurance is major medical insurance that covers essential health benefits with no annual 
or lifetime coverage maximums. And they can’t charge you more or deny you coverage because 
of a pre-existing health condition.

To qualify for the subsidies, your household’s modified adjusted gross income for 2019 must be under 
$48,560 for an individual, or $65,840 for a couple. 

If your income is just above these thresholds, you should talk to a tax advisor about perhaps mak-ing 
a larger IRA contribution or strategically timing retirement account withdrawals to help you qualify. 
To see how various levels of income might affect your premiums and subsidies, see the subsidy calculator 
on the Kaiser Family Foundation website at 

To shop for marketplace plans in your state, visit or call their toll-free helpline at 

If you find that you are not eligible for the subsidies and the premiums seem unaffordable, look into 
ACA-compliant plans that you can purchase off the marketplace directly from the insurance carrier 
or through a broker. In some states, you might find plans with lower premiums, especially on silver 

To find off the marketplace policies, see health insurance shopping websites like eHealthInsur-ance.
com, or contact a broker or agent to assist you. See to locate someone in 
your area.

Short-Term Health Insurance

If you can’t find an affordable ACA plan, you may want to consider short-term health insurance, 
which is much cheaper. These plans, which are not available in every state, are bare-bones health 
plans that provide coverage for three, six or 12 months – depending on state/federal rules. But be 
aware that short-term plans don’t comply with the ACA so they can deny sick people coverage, they 
don’t cover preexisting conditions and they can exclude coverage essentials like prescription drugs. 

To shop for short-term health insurance, visit or contact a local broker or 
agent via


If you need health insurance coverage for less than 18 months, another option you may want to 
consider is COBRA, which allows you to remain on your former employer’s group health plan, but 
not every employer plan is COBRA eligible. Contact your employer benefits administrator to find 
out if yours is. 

In most cases COBRA is expensive, requiring you to pay the full monthly premium yourself. But, if 
you’ve already met or nearly met your employer plan’s deductible and/or out-of-pocket maxi-mum 
for the year, and don’t want to start over with a new plan; or if you find your employer’s health plan 
to be better or more affordable that the other options, it makes sense to keep your cur-rent coverage 
under COBRA. 

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


HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …March Birthdays*

Cathy Flammer, Clare Marquardt, Karen Blachly, Carla Duplex, Ella Guttman, Viky 
Tchatlian, Mary Cooper, Sun Liu, Helen Wallis, Joan Crow, Nancy Fox, Martha 
Cassara, Rita Johnson, Mercedes Campos, Dorothy Webster,Terri Elder, Carol 
Cerrina, Amy Putnam, Sally Contreras * To add your name to this distinguished 
list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737. YEAR of birth not required



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 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. 
Join the class with Instructor Barbara Dempsey as she leads you in the art of Hula!

Bingo Time: Every Tuesday beginning at 1:00 p.m. Cards are only $0.25 each! Everyone is welcome to play! Activity 
may be canceled if there are less than five people.

Free Blood Pressure Testing: 2nd Tuesdays Monthly from 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary.

Brain Games: Every third Thursday of the month at 12:30-1:30pm Join us for Scattergories, a creative thinking game 
by naming objects within a set of categories; or Jenga, a block-building challenge that keeps you stacking and bal-ancing 
your tower. Everyone is welcome, and no experience is needed. A great way to strengthen your mind and make new 
friends... Games are facilitated by Senior Volunteers.

Free Legal Consultation: Wednesday, March 13th from 10:30 a.m. - Noon. Attorney Lem Makupson is available for 
legal consultation. Specializing in Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Estates and Injury. Please call the Hart Park

Senior Club: Meets Saturdays, Weekly at Hart Park House Brown Bag Lunch, great company and bingo at 11:30 a.m.

Chair Yoga: Mondays & Wednesdays 11:00 - 11:45 a.m. with Paul Hagen. Classes include Yoga and balance exercises. 
All ability levels are encouraged and welcomed!

Birthday Celebration: Every 2nd Thursday Monthly at the Hart Park House. Share free birthday cake and ice cream 
kindly provided by the Senior Community Commission!

Game Day: Every Thursday Monthly 12:00 Noon come into the Hart Park House and join a lively poker game with 

Free Strength Training Class: Fridays 12:45 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. with Lisa Brandley.light weights, low impact resistance 
training and body conditioning. Class equipment provided.

TAX ASSISTANCE—Every Wednesday 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Beginning February 6th – April 10th, Don Brunner 
is available for income tax consultation. Appointments needed, call 626-355-5278 x704

SENIOR EXCURSION Ostrichland & Danish Village (Solvang)

Date: Thursday, March 28, 2019

Time: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Cost: $20.00

Level of Walking: High

Lunch is on your own...

The highlight of a visit to Ostrichland is feeding the ostriches and emus. They provide 
a way for you to safely be up close and personal with these big birds which are a rare 
sight guaranteed to make you smile. The backdrop of the landscape on which they 
roam is quite lovely and seeing them walking about in what resembles their native 
land is like being transported to a different place.

Stop by the gift shop to get ostrich/emu related items or fresh ostrich eggs nearly year round and emu eggs 
which are available in the winter/spring season.

The historic Danish Village of Solvang offers the best of the Santa Ynez Valley & Santa Barbara Wine Country 
in a relaxed setting. Indulge in authentic Danish Pastries, admire European Architecture or sample wine in one 
of the 18+ tasting rooms. 

 Sierra Madre Resident Registration now through March 13, 2019; Non-Resident Registration begins 
March 14; Last Registration Date is March 26, 2019.

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