MONTEZUMA COLORADO
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Injunction sought to stop pot party


At the request of upset neighbors, the Montezuma County Commissioners will seek a court ...
which features competitive marijuana smoking and related events. The Colorado Invitational Bong-a-Thon is expected to exceed county standards for traffic and ...

DA urges residents to 'just hang up' as jury summons scam resurfaces -- again


If you get a call like this, contact local law enforcement or the Judicial Department at 720-625-5000. You also may call the Colorado Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection at 800-222-4444.

Taste the 2015 Governor's Cup Winners on August 1 — or Buy a Case Now


Montezuma County Turquoise Mesa Winery (Broomfield): 2013 Colorado Crimson (Rhône-style blend), Colorado Turquoise Mesa Winery (Broomfield): 2013 Syrah, Colorado BEST IN SHOW (tie)

Our Avery County


“Died at the residence of Luther Banner, near Aaron, Mitchell Co., May 1st, Mr. M ...
this community of many names in the next column with some insights into the name Montezuma.

Montezuma County nixes Bong-A-Thon


Montezuma County officials have denied a permit for North America’s oldest marijuana event to be held outside Stoner. Planning director LeeAnn Milligan said Colorado Invitational Bong-A-Thon officials filed a special-use permit to hosts the 32nd annual ...

Woman, 81, killed in Cortez crash


Scates was turning north in her white Ford Taurus onto Highway 160 from Montezuma County Road F, and she failed to yield to oncoming traffic, causing the driver of a southbound Dodge 2500 pickup to T-bone the vehicle, said Sgt. Rob Madden of the Colorado ...

Parmley retires after nearly 40 years of fire service in Summit County


He’s helped both fight and prevent fires, creating one of Colorado’s first wildfire mitigation programs ...
with a team of volunteers and two stations in Summit Cove and Montezuma. “The ’80s were tremendous growth years. There was a lot of new ...

Colorado Editorial Roundup


Colorado exports more than $1 billion in agricultural products ...
there was a small but vocal opposition concerned that the designation would detract from the Montezuma County canyon country's remote and rugged stature, bringing throngs of federal ...

Skiing: Weber Gulch Hut gets Forest Service OK


A long-term vision for Summit Huts includes the possibility of adding a few more cabins to connect with the 10th Mountain Division hut system around Vail Pass, and with the communities of Copper Mountain, Frisco, Breckenridge, Keystone and Montezuma.

Town of Montezuma sues all of its voters over flawed election


But in the pint-sized, high-mountain town of Montezuma it also has become grounds for a lawsuit ...
"I have never heard of anything like this," said Andrew Cole, a spokesman for the Colorado secretary of state's office. "This is certainly an unusual ...

Meine Pilgerfahrt an den Bauzaun in Meschede – Teil II: Wir klären die Schuldfrage.


Pat und Patachon simsen euch was … (fotos: zoom) „Die Überbringer schlechter Nachrichten zu töten war generell eine Zeit lang recht beliebt. Entsprechende Berichte finden sich in der griechischen Ant…

Today in History – July 3


1608 – The city of Quebec was founded by Samuel de Champlain. 1775 – U.S. Gen. George Washington took command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, MA. 1790 – In Paris, the marquis of Condorcet pr…
Jobs from Indeed




SPECIAL INFORMATION FOR MONTEZUMA

Protect Your Business in MONTEZUMA COLORADO from Spring Weather Threats

This winter has been particularly harsh for businesses in the northeast and parts of the southern U.S., as record snowfalls and frigid temperatures forced many companies to close their doors for several days.

Many parts of the country are bracing for possible spring floods that may follow when the snow melts. Meanwhile, April through June is the peak time for tornadoes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Southeast, Midwest, the Gulf States and the South Central region are particularly vulnerable to these dangerous windstorms.

Now is a good time to make a plan to protect your clients, customers and your business for the threats caused by spring storms and floods. Join the U.S. Small Business Administration and Agility Recovery on Tuesday, March 10 at 2 p.m. EDT for a free webinar on best practices for mitigating spring weather risks. These preparedness tips are based on real-life recovery experiences from business owners.

The SBA has partnered with Agility to offer business continuity strategies through its “PrepareMyBusiness” website. Visit www.preparemybusiness.org to access previous webinars and for additional preparedness tips.

The SBA provides disaster recovery assistance in the form of low-interest loans to homeowners, renters, private nonprofits and businesses of all sizes. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov/disaster.

WHAT: “Preparing for Severe Spring Weather” - A presentation from Agility CEO Bob Boyd, followed by a question and answer session.

WHEN: Tuesday, March 10, 2015 from 2 –3 p.m. EDT
HOW:

Space is limited. Register at http://agil.me/springprepsba

# # #

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MONTEZUMA COLORADO tspan:3m MONTEZUMA COLORADO




Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day in MONTEZUMA COLORADO

The U.S. Treasury Department’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) today released a new Quarterly Report detailing how the program continues to help small businesses grow and create jobs. Since the beginning of the program, the Treasury Department has disbursed more than $1.1 billion to participating states.

The Internal Revenue Service is partnering with community-based organizations across the country to promote Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day, an effort to alert millions of low and moderate-income workers who may be missing out on a significant tax credit that can be as much as $6,000.

Millions of workers who earned $52,427 or less last year may qualify for EITC for the first time in 2015, making awareness of the credit critical. About a third of the people eligible for EITC fluctuate each year based on changes to their marital, parental and financial status. All across the United States, local officials and community organizations are holding events highlighting this key benefit.

“About four out of five eligible workers and families get the credit they earned. That leaves millions missing EITC every year,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “It’s an important credit and one of the government’s best tools to fight poverty.”

Last year, almost 28 million eligible workers and families received $66 billion total in EITC, with an average EITC amount of $2,400.

The IRS website is a valuable first stop to help taxpayers get it right this filing season, from information on claiming the EITC, to learning about the Affordable Care Act (known as the health care law), to finding free tax help. The IRS encourages everyone to use the EITC Assistant on IRS.gov/eitc, an interactive tool to find out if they are eligible for the credit. The IRS website also provides helpful information on the health care law and how it may affect tax returns at IRS.gov/aca. There is also an interactive tool that helps individuals determine if they are eligible for the premium tax credit. And qualified taxpayers may also find a free tax return preparation site on IRS.gov/vita.

The amount of EITC varies depending on income, family size and filing status. Those who work for someone else or those who run a business or farm and who earned $52,427 or less during 2014 could receive larger refunds if they qualify for the EITC. This could mean up to $496 in EITC for people without children, and a maximum credit of up to $6,143 for those with three or more qualifying children.

The EITC is refundable. This means those eligible may get a refund from the IRS even if they owe no tax or had no taxes withheld from their paycheck.

Workers potentially eligible to claim the credit should visit IRS.gov/eitc to learn if they qualify, how to claim the credit and more. The EITC Assistant will also determine their filing status, if they have a qualifying child or children and estimate the amount of the EITC they could get. If an individual doesn’t qualify for EITC, the Assistant explains why and a summary of the results can be printed.

Get the Credit — How to Claim the EITC

To get the EITC, workers must file a tax return, even if they are not legally required to file, and specifically claim the credit. Free tax help is available to those eligible for the EITC:

The Internal Revenue Service is partnering with community-based organizations across the country to promote Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day, an effort to alert millions of low and moderate-income workers who may be missing out on a significant tax credit that can be as much as $6,000.

Millions of workers who earned $52,427 or less last year may qualify for EITC for the first time in 2015, making awareness of the credit critical. About a third of the people eligible for EITC fluctuate each year based on changes to their marital, parental and financial status. All across the United States, local officials and community organizations are holding events highlighting this key benefit.

“About four out of five eligible workers and families get the credit they earned. That leaves millions missing EITC every year,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “It’s an important credit and one of the government’s best tools to fight poverty.”

Last year, almost 28 million eligible workers and families received $66 billion total in EITC, with an average EITC amount of $2,400.

The IRS website is a valuable first stop to help taxpayers get it right this filing season, from information on claiming the EITC, to learning about the Affordable Care Act (known as the health care law), to finding free tax help. The IRS encourages everyone to use the EITC Assistant on IRS.gov/eitc, an interactive tool to find out if they are eligible for the credit. The IRS website also provides helpful information on the health care law and how it may affect tax returns at IRS.gov/aca. There is also an interactive tool that helps individuals determine if they are eligible for the premium tax credit. And qualified taxpayers may also find a free tax return preparation site on IRS.gov/vita.

The amount of EITC varies depending on income, family size and filing status. Those who work for someone else or those who run a business or farm and who earned $52,427 or less during 2014 could receive larger refunds if they qualify for the EITC. This could mean up to $496 in EITC for people without children, and a maximum credit of up to $6,143 for those with three or more qualifying children.

The EITC is refundable. This means those eligible may get a refund from the IRS even if they owe no tax or had no taxes withheld from their paycheck.

Workers potentially eligible to claim the credit should visit IRS.gov/eitc to learn if they qualify, how to claim the credit and more. The EITC Assistant will also determine their filing status, if they have a qualifying child or children and estimate the amount of the EITC they could get. If an individual doesn’t qualify for EITC, the Assistant explains why and a summary of the results can be printed.

Get the Credit — How to Claim the EITC

To get the EITC, workers must file a tax return, even if they are not legally required to file, and specifically claim the credit. Free tax help is available to those eligible for the EITC:

  • Free File on IRS.gov. Free brand-name tax software walks people through a question and answer format to help them prepare their returns and claim every credit and deduction for which they are eligible. Free File also provides online versions of IRS paper forms, an option called Free File Fillable Forms which is best suited for taxpayers comfortable preparing their own returns.

  • Free tax preparation sites. EITC-eligible workers can seek free tax preparation at thousands of Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) sites. Taxpayers can locate the nearest site using a search tool on IRS.gov or through the IRS2go smartphone application.

    It is important for taxpayers to bring along all the required documents and information to make sure they get the EITC they deserve. Also, those who bought coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace should receive Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, from their Marketplace in early February. It’s important to also bring the Form 1095-A to the volunteer site. Any taxpayer who does not receive it by early February should contact their Marketplace, not the IRS. The IRS will not have access to the information on the form.

Like last year, the IRS expects to issue more than nine out of 10 refunds within 21 days. The IRS reminds taxpayers that the fastest way to get a refund is to e-file their tax return and choose direct deposit. It takes longer to process paper returns. Because of budget cuts resulting in a smaller staff, it will likely take an additional week or more to process paper returns, meaning that those refunds are expected to be issued in seven weeks or more. Taxpayers can track the status of their refund with the “Where’s My Refund?” tool available on IRS.gov or on IRS2go.

Similar Benefits Available Through the Health Care Law

The Affordable Care Act requires that a taxpayer and each member of his or her family have qualifying health insurance coverage for each month of the year, qualify for an exemption from the coverage requirement, or make an individual shared responsibility payment when filing a federal income tax return.

Premium Tax Credits: If taxpayers bought coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, they should receive Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement from their Marketplace by early February. They should save this form because it has important information needed to complete their tax returns. 

If a taxpayer is expecting to receive Form 1095-A and has not received it by early February, they should contact the Marketplace where the coverage was purchased. Due to the fact that the IRS does not have this information, it is recommended that taxpayers contact the appropriate marketplace.

Anyone who benefited from advance payments of the premium tax credit must file a federal income tax return. The taxpayer will need to reconcile those advance payments with the amount of premium tax credit they’re entitled to based on actual income. As a result, some people may see a smaller or larger tax refund or tax liability than they were expecting. When filing their return, taxpayers will use IRS Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit (PTC), to calculate the premium tax credit and reconcile the credit with any advance payments.

Reporting requirements: Most taxpayers will simply check a box on their tax return to indicate that each member of their family had qualifying health coverage for the whole year. No further action is required. Qualifying health insurance coverage includes coverage under most, but not all, types of health care coverage plans. Taxpayers can use the chart on IRS.gov/aca to find out if their insurance counts as qualifying coverage.  

Exemptions: A taxpayer may be eligible to claim an exemption from the requirement to have coverage. If eligible for an exemption, the taxpayer will need to complete the new IRS Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions and attach it to their return. The individual must apply for some exemptions through the Health Insurance Marketplace.  However, most of the exemptions are easily obtained from the IRS when filing a tax return.  

Individual Shared Responsibility Payment: If an individual does not have qualifying coverage or an exemption for each month of the year, they will need to make an individual shared responsibility payment when filing their return for choosing not to purchase coverage. Examples and information about figuring the payment are available on the IRS Calculating the Payment page. More information about the Affordable Care Act and the 2014 income tax return is available at IRS.gov/aca.

Get It Right

Taxpayers are responsible for the accuracy of their tax return even if someone else preparers it for them. The rules for EITC are complicated. The IRS urges taxpayers to seek help if they are unsure of their eligibility, whether from a paid tax professional or at a free tax return preparation site. Deliberate errors can have lasting impact on future eligibility to claim EITC and leave taxpayers with a penalty.

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Make Your Health Benefits Work for You in MONTEZUMA COLORADO

The Department of Labor´s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) administers several important health benefit laws covering employer-based health plans. They govern your basic rights to information about how your health plan works, how to qualify for benefits, and how to make claims for benefits.

In addition, there are specific laws protecting your right to health benefits when you lose coverage or change jobs. EBSA also oversees health care laws covering special medical conditions. For more information on the laws that protect your benefits, see EBSA´s Website. Or call the agency toll free at 1-866-444-3272 to reach a regional office near you. These 10 tips can help make your health benefits work better for you.

1. Explore Your Options for Health Coverage

You have options for health coverage. There are many different types of health benefit plans. Find out what your employer offers, then check out the plan (or plans). Your employer´s human resource office, the health plan administrator, or your union can provide information to help you match your needs and preferences with the available plans. Or consider a health plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Visit HealthCare.gov to see the health plan options available in your area. Get information about all of your options and review it. The more information you have, the better your health care decisions will be.

2. Review the Benefits Available

Do the plans offered cover the benefits that are important to you, such as mental health services, well-baby care, vision or dental care? Are there deductibles? What are the out-of-pocket expenses you may face? Determine your needs and priorities. Compare all of your options before you decide which coverage to elect. Matching your needs and those of your family members will result in the best possible benefits. Cheapest may not always be best. Your goal is high quality health benefits.

3. Read Your Plan´s Summary Plan Description (SPD) for the Wealth of Information It Provides

Your health plan administrator should provide a copy. It outlines your benefits and your legal rights under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Federal law that protects your health benefits. It also should contain information about the coverage of dependents, what services will require a co-payment or coinsurance, and the circumstances under which your employer can change or terminate a health benefits plan. You also can find many of the answers to your questions in the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC), a short, easy-to-understand summary of what a plan covers and what it costs. You should receive a copy with your enrollment materials. Save the SPD, the SBC, and all other health plan brochures and documents, along with memos or correspondence from your employer relating to health benefits.

4. Use Your Health Coverage

Once your health coverage has started, use it to help cover medical costs for services like going to the doctor, filling prescriptions or getting emergency care. Using your benefits will help you and your family stay healthy and reduce your health care costs. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides many valuable protections for people enrolled in employment-based health plans including prohibiting preexisting condition exclusions and annual and lifetime limits on essential health benefits. What’s more, many plans cover certain preventive services for free, including routine vaccinations, regular well-baby and well-child visits, blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol tests, and many cancer screenings. You also can keep your children on your health plan until age 26. Take advantage of your benefits, especially free preventive care if your plan covers it. If you were required to pay cost-sharing for a preventive service, check your Explanation of Benefits and ensure that the provider billed the service properly.

5. Understand Your Plan’s Mental Health and Substance Use Coverage

Many health plans provide coverage for mental health and substance use disorder benefits. If a plan does offer these benefits, the financial requirements (such as co-payments and deductibles) and the quantitative treatment limits (such as visit limits) for the mental health and substance use disorder benefits cannot be more restrictive than the financial requirements or treatment limits applied to medical/surgical benefits. Plans also cannot impose lifetime and annual limits on the dollar amount of mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment. Some plans cover preventive services like screenings for depression and child behavioral assessments for free. Check your SPD and SBC to find out what your plan covers.

6. Look For Wellness Programs

More employers are establishing wellness programs that encourage employees to work out, stop smoking, and generally adopt healthier lifestyles. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the ACA encourage group health plans to adopt wellness programs but also includes protections for employees and dependents from impermissible discrimination based on a health factor. These programs often provide rewards such as cost savings as well as promoting good health. Check your SPD and SBC to see whether your plan offers a wellness program(s). If your plan does, find out what reward is offered and what you need to do to receive it.

7. Know How to File an Appeal if Your Health Benefits Claim is Denied

Understand your plan’s procedures for filing a claim for benefits and where to make appeals of the plan´s decisions. Pay attention to time limits – make sure you timely file claims and appeals and that the plan makes decisions on time. Keep records and copies of correspondence. Check your health benefits package and your SPD to determine who is responsible for handling problems with benefit claims. Contact EBSA for assistance if you are unable to obtain a response to your complaint.

8. Assess Your Benefits Coverage as Your Family Status Changes

Marriage, Porce, childbirth or adoption, the death of a spouse, and aging out of a parent’s health plan are life events that may signal a need to change your health benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children may be eligible for special enrollment into other employer health coverage or through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Even without life-changing events, the information provided by your employer should tell you how you can change benefits or switch plans. If you’re considering special enrollment, act quickly. You have 30 days after the life event to request special enrollment in other employer coverage or 60 days to select a plan in the Marketplace.

9. Be Aware that Changing Jobs and Other Work Events Can Affect Your Health Benefits

If you change employers or lose your job, you may need to find other health coverage. If you have a new job, consider enrolling in your new employer’s plan. Whether starting or losing a job, you may be eligible to special enroll in a spouse’s employer-sponsored plan or through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act – better known as COBRA – you, your covered spouse, and your dependent children may be eligible to continue coverage under your former employer-sponsored plan. This coverage is temporary (generally 18 to 36 months) and you may have to pay the entire premium plus a 2 percent administrative charge. Get information on your coverage options and compare. Be aware of the deadlines for deciding on coverage and find out when your new coverage will be effective.

10. Plan For Retirement

Before you retire, find out what health benefits, if any, extend to you and your spouse during your retirement years. Consult with your employer´s human resources office, your union, or the plan administrator. Check your SPD and other plan documents. Make sure there is no conflicting information among these sources about the benefits you will receive or the circumstances under which they can change or be eliminated. With this information in hand, you can make other important choices, like finding out if you are eligible for Medicare and Medigap insurance coverage. If you want to retire before you are eligible for Medicare and your employer does not provide health benefits in retirement, consider what you will do for health coverage. Your options may include enrolling in a spouse’s employer plan or in a Marketplace plan or temporarily continuing your employer coverage by electing COBRA. Planning for retirement includes planning for your health coverage in retirement. To find out more, read Taking the Mystery Out of Retirement Planning.

These Laws Can Help

  • The Employee Retirement Income Security Act – Offers protection for inPiduals enrolled in retirement, health, and other benefit plans sponsored by private-sector employers, and provides rights to information and a claims and appeals process for participants to get benefits from their plans.
  • The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – Creates the Health Insurance Marketplace and provides protections for employment-based health coverage, including extending dependent coverage of children to age 26; prohibiting preexisting condition exclusions and prohibiting lifetime and annual limits on essential health benefits.
  • The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act – Contains provisions giving certain former employees, retirees, spouses, and dependent children the right to purchase temporary continuation of group health plan coverage at group rates in specific instances.
  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act – Allows employees, their spouses and their dependents to enroll in employer-provided health coverage regardless of open enrollment periods if they lose coverage or in the event of marriage, birth, adoption or placement for adoption. Also prohibits discrimination in health care coverage.
  • The Women´s Health and Cancer Rights Act – Offers protections for breast cancer patients who elect breast reconstruction in connection with a mastectomy.
  • The Newborns´ and Mothers´ Health Protection Act – Provides rules on minimum coverage for hospital lengths of stay following childbirth.
  • The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act – Prohibits discrimination in group health plan premiums based on genetic information. Also, generally prohibits group health plans from requesting genetic information or requiring genetic tests.
  • The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the Mental Health Parity Act – Requires parity in financial requirements and treatment limitations for mental health and substance use benefits with those for medical and surgical benefits.
  • The Children´s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act – Allows special enrollment in a group health plan if an employee or dependents lose coverage under CHIP or Medicaid or are eligible for premium assistance under those programs.

For More Information

Visit the Employee Benefits Security Administration’s Website to view the following publications. To order copies or to request assistance from a benefits advisor, contact EBSA electronically or call toll free 1-866-444-3272.

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