GET YOUR MEDICARE READY FOR 2015 IN WILLARD
Do you make resolutions for the new year? Here are some easy ones you can keep that will help get you ready for 2015:
1. Check to see that you have the right insurance card to use when you go to the doctor in 2015. Did you change your health or drug plan during Medicare Open Enrollment? If you did and you havent received your new card or welcome packet by January 1st, contact your plan for help. If you need to fill a prescription right away, find out how to fill a prescription without your card.
If you changed from a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) back to Original Medicare, use your red, white, and blue Medicare card when you go to the doctor. Get a new card if you lost or damaged yours, or need to update your information.
2. Budget for next years Medicare Part B deductible.
Remember, if you have Medicare Part B and youre in Original Medicare, youll have to meet your deductible before your Medicare coverage pays for services and supplies. Next year, the Medicare Part B deductible will be $147, the same as it was in 2014. Plan your health care budget to account for the increased cost of doctor visits for the time that it will take to cover your deductible. Find out more about Medicare costs in 2015.
3. Schedule appointments to get any preventive tests or screenings.
Medicare covers all sorts of preventive services to keep you healthy and screenings to check for health problems, and many are covered each year at no cost to you. Ask your doctor when you should schedule your wellness visit and other screenings. You can also use MyMedicare.gov to track your visits and make a calendar of preventive services.
Talk to your doctor about these covered preventive services to find out whats right for your health needs.
4. Make sure your drug or health plan meet your needs.
If not, Medicare has a way for you to get the coverage you want instead of having to wait for the next Open Enrollment. At any time during the year, you can switch to a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan that has a 5-star rating.
Plan ratings are based on member surveys, information from doctors and health care providers, and other sources. The plan ratings are scores that show the quality and performance of the plan, on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, with 5 being the highest rated plans.
You can make this change once per calendar year. Find 5-star health and drug plans in your area.
Remember to check www.medicare.gov for the latest Medicare news and information, and have a happy and healthy new year!
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This is Real: The World Climate is Changing
Our Earth is warming. The average temperature of the Earth has risen about 1.4 ° F (0.7 ° C over) over the last century. It is projected that the average temperature rise of approximately 2 to 11.5 ° F (1.1 ° C to 6.4 ° C) over the next hundred years. Small changes in average global temperature could lead to large and potentially dangerous changes in climate and weather.
The evidence is clear. Rising temperatures have been accompanied by changes in the weather and climate. Many sites have seen changes in rainfall, which resulted in more flooding, drought or heavy rain and waves more frequent and severe heat.The oceans and glaciers on the planet have also undergone some big changes: the oceans are warming and acidifying, the ice caps are melting and sea levels are rising. As these and other changes are more pronounced in the coming decades, they will have to present challenges to our society and our environment.
Learn about the signs of climate change in the United States.
Humans are largely responsible for recent climate change
Over the past century, human activity has downloaded large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Most greenhouse gases come from the burning of fossil fuels that produce energy, but deforestation, industrial processes and some agricultural practices also emit gases into the atmosphere.
The greenhouse gases act like a blanket around the Earth, which traps energy in the atmosphere and causes it to heat.This phenomenon is called the greenhouse effect is natural and necessary to sustain life on Earth. However, the accumulation of greenhouse gases can change the Earth´s climate and dangerous effects to human health and welfare and ecosystems.
The choices we make today will affect the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will in the near future and for years to come.
Learn about the causes of climate change .
Climate change affects all
Our lives are linked to climate. Human societies have adapted to relatively stable climate which have enjoyed since the last Ice Age ended several millennia ago. A warming climate will result in process changes that could affect our water supplies, agriculture, energy and transport systems, the natural environment and to our own health and safety.
Some of the climate changes are inevitable. carbon dioxide can remain in the atmosphere for about a century so the Earth will continue to warm over the coming decades. The hotter it gets, the greater the risk of more severe changes in climate and Earth system. Although it is difficult to predict the exact impacts of climate change, it is clear that the climate to which we are accustomed to is no longer a guide to which we can trust what we can expect in the future.
We can reduce the risks we face from climate change. Choosing options that reduce pollution from greenhouse gases and prepare for the changes that are already underway, we can reduce the risks of climate change. Our decisions will shape the world in which our children and grandchildren will live.
Learn about the impacts of climate change and adaptation to change .
We can make a difference
You can take action. You can take steps at home, on the road, in your office to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and the risks associated with climate change. Many of these steps can save you money; some, such as walking or cycling to work could improve your health! You may also participate in activities to support local or state level energy efficiency, clean energy programs and other climate programs.
Learn about what you can do .
Calculate your carbon footprint and find ways to reduce their emissions through simple actions you take daily.
EPA and other federal agencies are taking action. EPA is working to protect the health and welfare of the people in this country through common sense measures to reduce pollution and greenhouse gases to help communities prepare for change climate.
Warning in WILLARD: Government Grant Scams
Because you pay your income taxes on time, you have been awarded a free $12,500 government grant! To get your grant, simply give us your checking account information, and we will direct-deposit the grant into your bank account!
Sometimes, its an ad that claims you will qualify to receive a free grant to pay for education costs, home repairs, home business expenses, or unpaid bills. Other times, its a phone call supposedly from a government agency or some other organization with an official sounding name. In either case, the claim is the same: your application for a grant is guaranteed to be accepted, and youll never have to pay the money back.
But the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nations consumer protection agency, says that money for nothing grant offers usually are scams, whether you see them in your local paper or a national magazine, or hear about them on the phone.
Some scam artists advertise free grants in the classifieds, inviting readers to call a toll-free number for more information. Others are more bold: they call you out of the blue. They lie about where theyre calling from, or they claim legitimacy using an official-sounding name like the Federal Grants Administration. They may ask you some basic questions to determine if you qualify to receive a grant. FTC attorneys say calls and come-ons for free money invariably are rip offs.
Grant scammers generally follow a script: they congratulate you on your eligibility, then ask for your checking account information so they can deposit your grant directly into your account, or cover a one-time processing fee. The caller may even reassure you that you can get a refund if youre not satisfied. In fact, youll never see the grant they promise; they will disappear with your money.
The FTC says following a few basic rules can keep consumers from losing money to these government grant scams:
- Dont give out your bank account information to anyone you dont know. Scammers pressure people to divulge their bank account information so that they can steal the money in the account. Always keep your bank account information confidential. Dont share it unless you are familiar with the company and know why the information is necessary.
- Dont pay any money for a free government grant. If you have to pay money to claim a free government grant, it isnt really free. A real government agency wont ask you to pay a processing fee for a grant that you have already been awarded or to pay for a list of grant-making institutions. The names of agencies and foundations that award grants are available for free at any public library or on the Internet. The only official access point for all federal grant-making agencies is www.grants.gov.
- Look-alikes arent the real thing. Just because the caller says hes from the Federal Grants Administration doesnt mean that he is. There is no such government agency. Take a moment to check the blue pages in your telephone directory to bear out your hunch or not.
- Phone numbers can deceive. Some con artists use Internet technology to disguise their area code in caller ID systems. Although it may look like theyre calling from Washington, DC, they could be calling from anywhere in the world.
- Take control of the calls you receive. If you want to reduce the number of telemarketing calls you receive, place your telephone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. To register online, visit donotcall.gov. To register by phone, call 1-888-382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236) from the phone number you wish to register.
- File a complaint with the FTC. If you think you may have been a victim of a government grant scam, file a complaint with the FTC online, or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.