Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, October 31, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 11


Mountain View News Saturday, October 31, 2020 



Dear Savvy Senior:

Will my Medicare benefits be affected if Obamacare is 
overturned by the Supreme Court? 

Concerned Beneficiary

Dear Concerned:

Unfortunately, yes. If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) 
– also known as Obamacare – gets repealed by the Supreme Court next year, it will weaken Medicare 
and increase costs for beneficiaries. Here’s what you should know.

 Currently, about 60 million people are covered under Medicare, the federal health insurance program 
for people 65 and older and people of all ages with disabilities. Even though the main aim of 
the ACA was to overhaul the health insurance markets, most people don’t realize that the law also 
touches virtually every part of Medicare.

 Without the ACA, Medicare beneficiaries will have to pay more for preventive care services, which 
are now free; they’ll have to pay more toward their prescription drugs; their premiums and deductibles 
will rise faster; and Medicare will face insolvency much sooner because of lost funding and cost 
cutting measures. With the help of Kiplinger’s Retirement Report, here is a more detailed breakdown 
of what happens to Medicare if the court invalidates the law.

 Preventive care services will no longer be free: Thanks to the ACA, there’s no copayment or deductible 
for potentially life-saving screenings for cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other 
illnesses. Flu shots and annual wellness visits are also free. Before the ACA, beneficiaries had to pay 
20 percent of the cost for most preventive care services, after their deductible was met.

 The doughnut hole will return: Since 2011 the ACA has been steadily closing the prescription drug 
coverage gap, also known as the doughnut hole, in Medicare Part D by requiring drug manufacturers 
and insurers to pick up more of the cost. The hole was finally closed this year with seniors paying 25 
percent of the cost for both generic and brand-name medications and manufacturers picking up 70 
percent of the tab, while insurers kick in the remaining 5 percent. Before the ACA, seniors paid 100 
percent of Part D prescription drug expenses while in the doughnut hole.

 Medicare premiums and deductibles will rise faster: The ACA also curbed Medicare payments 
to providers to help keep Medicare Part A deductibles and copayments in check. Similarly, Part B 
premiums and deductibles are much lower than projected before the ACA became law. From 2011 
to 2020, Part B premiums increased 23 percent. From 2000 to 2009 – the nine years before the law’s 
passage – Part B premiums rose almost five times faster, increasing 112 percent over that period.

 Medicare Advantage plans will be more expensive: The ACA requires Medicare Advantage plans 
to spend 85 percent of premium dollars on health care, not profits or overhead. The plans also can’t 
charge more than traditional Medicare for chemotherapy, renal dialysis, skilled nursing care and 
other specialized services.

 Those restrictions dramatically lowered costs for Medicare Advantage plan enrollees. Since the 
ACA became law in 2010, the average Medicare Advantage premium has decreased by 43 percent 
while enrollment has increased 117 percent.

 Insolvency accelerates: The ACA extended the solvency of the program’s trust fund by eight years 
to 2026, mostly by finding new sources of revenue and slowing the growth of payments to all providers. 
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that reversing those changes would cost the program 
$700 billion over 10 years, which would make Medicare almost immediate insolvent.

 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! …October Birthdays*

Janda Ferris, Darlene Traxler, Margit Johnson, Sole Krieg, George Maurer, Dick 
Anderson, Eva Poet, Mary Jane Baker, Dixie Coutant, Cathleen Cremins,Adie Marshall, 
Darlene Crook, Susan Gallagher, Maggie Ellis, Gloria Giersbach, Elva Johnson, Ellen 
O’Leary, Jenny Piangenti, Gail Ann Skiles, Anita Thompson, Linda Boehm and Angela 

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


CHAIR YOGA Every Monday and Wednesday, 10-10:45 am Chair yoga with Paul is coming back! Class will 
begin on Monday, August 10th and will be held in the Covered Pavilion in Memorial Park in front of the Senior 
Center. Please join us for some gentle stretching, yoga, balance exercise and overall relaxa-tion. Class size is limited 
so please call 264-8923 to reserve your spot. 

HAWAIIAN AND POLYNESIAN DANCE CLASS Every Friday, 10-10:45 am Class will also meet in the Cov-
ered Pavilion in Memorial Park in front of the Senior Center. Join the class with instructor Barbara as she leads 
you through the art of Hula. Please call 264-8923 with any questions. 

Classes will maintain a distance of 6 ft between participants. ALL participants must be wearing masks for the 
duration of the class. All equipment used will be sanitized after each use before it is stored. Each participant is 
responsible for providing their own water, masks and needed equipment or sup-plies for each class. Please call the 
Community Services Department at 355-5278 with any questions or concerns.


Wednesday, October 21, 11:00 am. Please join me as we try our hands at making Wooden Owl Orna-ments. This 
will be a new type of program as we create our masterpieces via Zoom to ensure all of our safety. I will have all the 
supplies individually packaged and ready for pickup on Monday, October 19th pickup will be between 10:00 am-
2:00 pm. I will have enough supplies for 10 participants. Reservations are required so please call 355-5278 x 704 
to secure your spot. Please note that this is an ONLINE class that will be held via Zoom. We will not be meeting 
in the Hart Park House Senior Center.


 Do you have any ideas for programming? Is there a class or club you would like to see in our Senior Community? 
Please call or email Lawren Heinz with ideas or questions. 626-355-5278 x 704

 City staff are monitoring email communication daily, and although employees are minimizing direct engagement 
and interfacing less with 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 time 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 per-son. 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.


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 

 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 Lheinz@ and Clarissa Lowe

 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.



Right now, huge numbers of people are coming face to face with their own mortality, 
and realizing they need to plan for the worst. This goes not just for those in 
the “senior” category, but for all of us, no matter our age. We are facing the reality 
of our mortality, and many of us are doing it courageously by taking this as an 
opportunity to learn what we need to do for the people we love. 

Recently I heard a tragic story from a colleague whose client lost her fiancé to 
COVID-19. Because she wasn’t listed on her fiancé’s health directive and HIPAA 
waiver, she could not get anyone to update her on his condition once he entered 
the hospital. 

Naturally, she didn’t give up trying, and eventually someone told her that he 
wasn’t in the ICU anymore. She was enormously relieved, but when she hadn’t heard anything else by the next 
day, she called again for news. Finally, after being transferred several times, she learned that the reason her fiancé 
wasn’t in the ICU was because he was in the morgue. He’d passed away the day before, and no one had told her. 

Nobody expects something like this to happen, especially to people who are healthy and making plans for their 
own futures. But sometimes the worst does happen, and if it does, you want the people you love to be able to grieve 
properly, without leaving them with a mess of confusion on top of it all. 

Now, think about your own situation. What will happen to your loved ones, and the assets you’ll leave behind, if 
you become sick or die?

Without a doubt, you’d want to ensure certain people in your life are informed if you have to go to the hospital 
and kept up to date on your condition while you are there. You’d also probably want to avoid them having to go 
through a drawn-out court process to handle your estate after your death or save them from the fate of not being 
able to access your assets if you are hospitalized. This article is all about you having the tools you need to make 
sure everything is in place to do the right thing for the people you love, just in case something happens to you.

Covering the Bases

First, you need to have a worst-case scenario conversation with your family. A lot of people try to avoid conversations 
about death, but the fact is, we will all die. It’s better to face that with those we love so that when the time 
comes, we will be as ready as we can be, and so will they.

Create an Asset Inventory

This is something you can get started on right now, by yourself, without the help of a lawyer. It is a great resource 
to leave for your loved ones so they know where to find everything that is important to you, and will be important 
to them, if something happens to you. 

First, get out your calendar and schedule an appointment with yourself. Set aside an hour or so to put all your asset 
information in one place (we use a spreadsheet when we do this for clients): real estate, bank accounts, retirement 
accounts, life insurance, stocks, bonds, business interests, etc. 

Update Your Health Care Directive

This is extremely important if you want your loved ones to avoid the tragic situation my colleague’s client found 
herself in. Do NOT delay reviewing and updating these documents.

Your Health Care Directive should have three parts:

‚óè A Living Will/ Medical Directive, which states how you want decisions to be made for you.

● A Medical Power of Attorney, which states who should make these decisions if you can’t make them

‚óè A HIPAA Release that allows medical professionals to disclose information to your Medical Power of

Name Legal Guardians for Your Kids

A very important thing for all parents of minor children to do is name legal guardians for your children. Think
about what would happen to them right now if something were to happen to you, for both the long term and the
immediate future. This is the single most important thing parents of minor children should do because it would
have the greatest impact on – or leave the biggest hole for – our minor children if something happens to us.

Going Beyond Just the Basics

The goal in setting up an estate plan is, ultimately, to keep your loved ones out of court and out of conflict. To do 
that, you must make the right decisions during the planning process, retitle assets so they are protected by your 
plan, and ensure your plan stays up to date for the rest of your life. 

Estate planning is all about merging your family dynamics, assets (both material and non-material), and the law 
into a cohesive plan which accomplishes all that you really want to do for the people you love. 

If you are ready to face your mortality courageously and want to ensure your family is protected and provided for 
no matter what, don’t wait. Get the help of a professional (someone who’s providing virtual planning sessions) and 
get started now. 

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.


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder


I have learned in my life, and probably just one 
thing: things have a way of catching up with me. I 
can't get away with anything.

It's not that I don't try. There were a few times 
when I've come pretty close to getting away with 
something, but it did-n't turn out the way I hoped.

One example stands out. Last year someone 
hacked into the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage’s 
bank account and purchased a case of wine 
for around $700. It took her a few days to see this 
in her bank account. When she saw it, she immediately 
went to the bank to dispute it.

The interesting thing about this purchase on her 
account was, it happened while she was playing 
the piano in church on a Sunday morning here in 
Florida, and was made at the same time in Southern 
California. I know my wife is terrif-ic, but I 
did not believe she could do that. To be in two different 
places at the same time is magical.

Maybe she has more arrows in her quiver than I 

She finally got it squared away with her bank and 
got the money put back. For a while, she was a 
little worried and checked her bank account every 

Every once in a while, being the kind of person I 
am, I will ask her after the Sunday service, “Did 
you buy any wine today?”

I found that quite hilarious but, being on the opposite 
side of the marriage aisle, she did not go 
along with that evalua-tion.

Being a country boy, I like to milk every opportunity 
I get. I remember telling her at the time, “I 
didn’t know you drank wine.”

After a while, she quit responding and just gave me 
one of her infamous scowls, which only sparked 
further interest in the subject.

For a while, I thought I was getting away with this. 
Things, however, have a way of catching up, particularly 
with me, when I least expect it.

Several weeks ago, as I checked my bank account 
online, I noticed a transaction for $159.32 for, of 
all things, cigars. But I don't smoke cigars!

I’ve delved into it a little bit and discovered that I 
bought those cigars in New Jersey the same time I 
was preaching from the pulpit here in Florida. Is it 
possible that I have now risen to the height of the 
Gracious Mistress of the Par-sonage?

Believe me, I was more than aggravated at that 
kind of thing. $159.32 is a lot of money for me, 
and to spend it on ci-gars when I don’t smoke cigars 
is a travesty.

The next day I headed for the bank to dispute this 
transaction. After some time with my banker, she 
was able to take care of it. It took several days for 
that money to get back into my account. Believe 
me, I checked my account every day until finally, 
the transaction was gone.

The fact that that transaction took place in New 
Jersey at the same time I was preaching here in 
Florida was rather disturbing. I thought that maybe 
somebody did this deliberately.

That, however, was not the end of it.

“After all these years you haven’t told me everything 
about yourself,” my wife said to me. “Why 
didn’t you tell me you smoke cigars?” Then she 
laughed. I didn’t.

She egged me into an intense conversation about 
the fact that I did not, in any way, smoke cigars; 
therefore, why in the world would I buy cigars. 
Looking at her, I could see she was enjoying this 
to the hilt.

“Is there anything else,” she said rather soberly, 
“that you haven’t told me?”

Well, if there was, I would not remember it at my 
age. Then, as I stood there with my jaw dropped to 
the floor, she began laughing hysterically.

“Ha, ha, ha, I got you.”

But it wasn’t over yet.

The next Sunday after the church service, on our 
way home, my wife looked at me rather soberly 
and said, "Honey, did you by any cigars today 
while you were preaching?" Then she laughed 
heartily, and I mumbled under my breath as I gritted 
my teeth.

I didn't understand where she was going with this, 
and then she said something else, "By the way, I 
did not buy any wine today while playing the piano." 
Again she laughed.

When she said that, I understood where all of this 
was coming from.

Right then and there, we made a pact. I won't ask 
her about buying wine if she doesn't ask me about 
buying cigars on a Sunday.

It just showed me that things have a way of coming 
back on me. I need to learn to let some things go 
even though I might be tempted to use them for 
my entertainment.

I'm sure down the road, somewhere, some time, 
there will be an opportunity for me to indulge in 
this entertainment. I must keep in mind, what I 
think I have, my wife also has.

I was reminded of what the apostle Paul said. “Be 
not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever 
a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 

I thought about that for a while. Whatever you 
do, has repercussions. How you treat one person 
is how, down the road somewhere, you will be 
treated as well.

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God 
Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472.

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