Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 23, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 11


Mountain View News Saturday, May 23, 2020 



Dear Savvy Senior:

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, I just got laid 
off from my job of 22 years and need to find health 
insurance until I can get another job or enroll in 
Medicare at age 65. What are my options? Scared to Death 


Dear Scared:

I’m very sorry about your job loss. It’s estimated that as many as 45 million Americans could lose 
their health insurance as businesses continue to lay off workers due to repercussions of the coronavirus 
pandemic. Here’s where you can find health insurance coverage while you’re looking for new 
employment or waiting for Medicare.


The Affordable Care Act Marketplace

Your best option for getting affordable health insurance is through Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplaces, 
also known as Obamacare. Or, if your income is very low you may qualify for Medicaid.


Normally, enrollment in an ACA Marketplace is limited to the short window for Open Enrollment, 
which is between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15 each year. But there’s an exception for people who’ve lost their 
jobs, known as the Special Enrollment Period, which allows you to apply because your layoff meant 
a loss of health insurance. To do so, you must enroll within 60 days of when your coverage stopped 
and prove that you lost your health insurance.


There is no limited enrollment period for Medicaid.


Eleven of the states with their own health-insurance marketplaces (California, Colorado, Connecticut, 
Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and 
Washington), plus the District of Columbia, are also offering special enrollment periods, allowing 
anyone who is eligible under the ACA rules to sign up.


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.


You also need to know that if your annual income will fall below the 400 percent poverty level, the 
ACA provides premium subsidies, which will reduce the amount you’ll have to pay for a policy.


To qualify for subsidies your household’s estimated income for 2020 must be under $49,960 for an 
individual, $67,640 for a couple, or $103,000 for a family of four. The lower your income is under 
these limits the higher your subsidy will be. Unemployment benefits count toward income.


To see how much subsidy you may qualify for, use Kaiser Family Foundation health insurance 
marketplace calculator at


Or, if your income is very low – below the 138 percent poverty level – you may qualify for free, or 
low-cost health coverage through expanded Medicaid services, which is available in many states.


To apply for ACA Marketplace health plans or Medicaid, go to Or, you can call 
their toll-free number at 800-318-2596 and get help over the phone.



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 maximum 
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 than the marketplace options, it makes sense to keep your current 
coverage under COBRA. 


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.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …May Birthdays*

Beth Copti, Marilyn Diaz, Anne Schryver, Jo Ann Williams, Paul Hagan, Lenore 
Crilly Joann Serrato-Chi, Harriett Lyle, Jean Coleman, Birgitta Gerlinger, Donna 
Mathieson, Luciana Rosenzweig, Linda Wochnik, Marian Woodford, Debbie 
Sheridan, Joanne Anthony, Carole Axline, Kika Downey, Shirley Hall, Annie Scalzo, 
Janet Ten Eyck, Jane Thomas, Ray Burley.

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


The City of Sierra Madre is following these procedures to provide current communication in light of 
COVID-19 and keep the Senior Community and families informed of essential information and resources. 
City staff are monitoring email communication daily, and although employees are minimizing 
direct engagement and practicing social distancing in the community, please note that voice messages, 
emails, and social media responses are being addressed in the most efficient and timely manner.

If at any moment additional information is needed, please contact City Hall Administrative Services at 
(626) 355-7135, Monday-Thursday from 7:30a – 5:30p, as they are taking messages and e-mailing the 
appropriate person.

For messages that may trickle in otherwise, please note our team is remotely checking voicemail daily at 
the Community Services Department, (626) 355-5278 x702.

Community Services Department will continue email communication with Senior residents and aging 
community members.

If you know of family members or neighbors who may benefit from accessing information electronically, 
and to receive the department’s Seniors Newsletter via email but may not otherwise have been included 
on an email group list, please send your request with email address to the following team members:

Lawren Heinz and Clarissa Lowe

Community Services Department will continue Electronic Seniors Newsletter on a weekly-basis 

Community Services Department will continue with mail drop-off of newsletters at the Sierra Madre 
U.S. Post Office Box (unless otherwise advised).

City Social Media will continue via Facebook as well as Instagram, and information sharing will include 
updates as details becomes available.

Mater Dolorosa - Sierra Madre Meal Pick-Up Program provides seal-packaged frozen meals, 5-per 
person every Thursday, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. at Hart Park House Senior Center 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. 
Donations are accepted. Call (626) 355-5278; x702 or 704.

YWCA Intervale Meal Program - Effective Wednesday, April 1, 2020

YWCA has transitioned their distribution of take home meals at the Sierra Madre Hart Park House Senior 
Center to a home-delivery meal program. Participants previously reserved for meal pick-up as of 
Wednesday, 3/25/20 were informed that they would begin to have their meals delivered to their homes, 
beginning Wednesday, April 1, 2020 until further notice.

For any additional participants calling in that are at a high risk and need meals delivered to, please 
provide us their name, date of birth (they must be 60+), address and phone number and Community 
Services Department will for-ward this information to our County Contact.

Food Banks Support: Seniors & Families:

If someone is outside of our local area and in need of a food bank, they can find one nearest them by 
going to and typing in their zip code; or call from the list here:

First Church of the Nazarene-Pasadena 3700 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. 626-351-9631

Wednesday 10:30 am-12 pm 

Pasadena Senior Center 85 E. Holly St. Pasadena 626-685-6732

Foothill Unity Center 415 W. Chestnut Ave. Monrovia 626-358-3486 Monday 1 pm-3:30 pm, 
Wednesday & Friday 9 am-11:30 am

Lifeline Community Services & Economic Development 2556 N. Lake Ave Altadena

626-797-3585 2nd and 4th Wednesday 12 pm-2 pm & 8:15 pm-9 pm

Morning Star Outreach Ministry 1416 N. Mentor Ave Pasadena 626-794-4875

2nd & 4th Saturday 11 am-1



A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder


If you’re a 
parent, you 
may feel even 
more guilty 
than usual. 
If so, you are 
not alone. 
Currently, the 
burden is on 
you to both 
carry on with 
your work and manage your child’s full-time 
care and education. Two full-time jobs that 
you’re trying to do by yourself, likely without 
teachers or care providers to help you. 

If you are like most parents, you were probably 
struggling with guilt even before the virus. 
You may not always make it to every award 
ceremony or recital, and you might not have 
as much time to play with your kids or help 
them with their homework as you’d like. Those 
feelings of guilt may now be compounded by all 
the additional responsibilities you’ve taken on 
in a short space of time. 

Take a deep breath and let yourself off the hook. 
I’m sure you are doing the best you can, and 
your kids see it, and know it too, even when 
they are being ungrateful pains in the rear. 

Keep reading for a few ideas about how to shift 
the guilt. 

Name Legal Guardians 

Let’s start with one thing that is fully within 
your control, can help to alleviate feelings that 
you are not doing enough, and that you can get 
handled easily --- name legal guardians for your 
kids, so only the people you choose will take 
care of them if anything happens to you. 

Legally documenting your choices for who 
you want to take care of your kids if you can’t 
is a great first step to getting legal planning 
in place for the people you love. (Yes, I said 
“choices” because you want to name at least two 
alternates after your first choice.) And doing so 
can provide you with a lot of relief, if you have 
not yet taken care of this for your kids.

Quality Time Doing...Nothing

While you’re probably already spending a 
significant amount of time with your kids, 
you may be too tired or overwhelmed to plan 
big activities, or the things you used to do for 
“quality time” may not be available.

So, what’s a parent to do?


Yes, you read that right, nothing.

If you can take 15 minutes or so out of your day 
and do nothing with your child, it could be the 
best 15 minutes you spend with them, and with 
yourself, all day. 

It’s truly one of the best gifts you can give to 
your kids, and the best part is you don’t have to 
do anything. Mostly, our kids really just want to 
know we are there, and will give them our full 
attention, without screens, even if they aren’t 
paying attention to us.

Talk About It

If you’re on an emotional roller-coaster right 
now, your kids are probably having some similar 
struggles. This is an opportunity to connect 
with them, and a good time to show them a 
little vulnerability of your own. Remember how 
important sharing words of love and comfort 
can be, both to them and to you.

If you have been feeling alone and need support, 
you can also reach outside of your family for 
help. Sometimes venting to your friends is 
enough, and chances are they’ll be able to relate! 
But if you are not getting the support you need, 
there are professionals who will communicate 
via phone and even text message. You can 
always reach out to us for a referral but you can 
also find local therapists and phone, video, and 
online therapists through Psychology Today’s 

The point is, you are NOT alone, and you don’t 
have to feel alone. There are resources available 
and if we can be of support to you in any way, 
please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Dedicated to empowering your family, building 
your wealth and 
defining your legacy,

A local attorney and 
father, Marc Garlett is 
on a mission to help 
parents protect what they love

most. His office is located at 55 Auburn Avenue, 
Sierra Madre, CA 91024. Schedule an

appointment to sit down and talk about 
ensuring a legacy of love and financial security 
for your family by calling 626.355.4000 or visit for more information.


During this time of exclusive 
lockdown, I and the Gracious 
Mistress of the Parsonage have 
grown accustomed to silence.

Don't get me wrong here. I do 
not object to noise as long as it's the right kind of 
noise. However, I do have a good warm feeling 
about silence. What was that song? "The Sounds of 

Silence is wonderful and soothing, enabling me to 
sit back and enjoy a good read. There is nothing 
like reading a book, and from my point of view, 
I have not read a book unless I have read it ten 
times. If it is a good book, the more I read it, the 
better it is.

My wife, on the other hand, when she has read 
a book that is the end of it. Even with some TV 
shows, when she has seen it once, that is all she 
needs. Me, if I like a TV show, I love watching it 

I do not know if it's me or not, but I seem to find 
something I did not see before every time I reread 
a book. That's what makes reading a book over and 
over exciting for me.

Just as I was getting adjusted to "The Sounds of Silence," 
our routine changed drastically. I really did 
not see this coming.

I have the habit of giving gift cards to my wife on 
her birthday, at Christmas, on Mother's Day, and 
any other holiday that comes along. I do not seem 
to be able to keep up with all these holidays. It is 
easier than trying to figure out what in the world 
she likes at the time. I feel that if she has the gift-
card, she can get what she wants, and will like it.

Last Tuesday as my wife went to the front door, she 
turned, looked at me and said, "Honey," (I think 
she calls me "Honey" because she can't remember 
my name), "I'm going to go shopping this morning 
and use some of those wonderful gift cards I got."

I certainly gave her my blessing and told her, "Drive 
carefully." Then I threw her a wink.

When the door closed behind her, I snuggled down 
into one of my good books and enjoyed the silence 
surrounding me.

It was a long morning, and finally, I heard my wife 
backing into the driveway and parked her van. She 
came to the door and asked if I could help her put 
some things into the garage.

Now, our garage is not the typical garage. I seldom 
go into the garage because my wife has made it 
her workshop, which has been all right with me. I 
have my space, she has her space, and the two shall 
never collide.

As we took the package out of her van, I asked, 
"What did you get?"

"I got a power saw for my workshop. Lowe's was 
having a sale, and I couldn't refuse."

"What do you need a power saw for?"

"I just have a few projects in my workshop, and this 
will come in handy.”

To each its own, I thought to myself. I helped her 
get it set up, she said a gracious thank you, and I 
went back inside to read. I was happy that she was 
happy, and that always makes for a good time.

I just settled in and was reading the next chapter in 
my book and enjoying the silence around me when 
suddenly I heard what sounded like an explosion.

Burrrrrrrrrrr. It seemed to get louder and louder. 
The very room where I was setting shook with the 

Not knowing what was happening, I jumped out 
of my chair and ran to the garage as fast as I could. 
The closer I got to the garage, the louder the sound 
was. I knew something terrible was happening.

When I got into the garage where my wife was, the 
saw was running as loud as I have ever heard anything, 
and she was cutting boards. When I saw her, 
I noticed the biggest smile I've seen on her face in 
a long time.

"Is there anything wrong," I shouted over the noise.

She heard me, turned off the power saw, looked at 
me with that smile still on her face and said, "Nothing. 
I'm only testing my power saw to make sure it 

Then she turned back to the power saw, turned 
it on, and the noise resumed. I could see she was 
happy and enjoying herself, as I have not seen her 
lately. I guess all the silence in our home has come 
to an end.

I walked back to my chair, sat down, and listened 
to the sound coming from the garage. I thought to 
myself; this will be the "new normal" for our home.

For a few moments, I just sat there, thinking and 
listening, and I came to a marvelous conclusion. If 
this is what makes my wife happy, then I too, am 
happy. For the rest of the day, I enjoyed "The Absence 
of Silence" filling our home.

I remembered what I once read in the book of 
Proverbs. "Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, 
and the man that getteth understanding" (Proverbs 

Wisdom and understanding can have a practical 
application. When I have the wisdom to know 
what makes my wife happy, I will understand what 
true happiness is.

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God 
Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife 
in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-216-3025 
or e-mail The church web 
site is

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