What You Should Know About MedicareWritten by LB Sedlacek
Medicare is Federal health insurance program that is available to older people and to many of those with disabilities. Generally, a person is eligible for Medicare when turning age 65. In other instances, a person with a disability may be eligible, regardless of age. There are two parts to Medicare: Part A and Part B. Inpatient hospital services, skilled nursing facility, home health care and hospice services are covered by Medicare Part A. Physician services, durable medical equipment, clinical diagnostic laboratory services, laboratory tests, X-rays, diabetes self-management, outpatient hospital services, ambulance services, outpatient mental health services, mammograms, pap smears, colon or prostate cancer screenings, flu and pneumonia shots, bone density measurement, and physical therapy are covered by Medicare Part B. Medicare generally does not cover preventive care services, private duty nursing, hospital room telephone or television, private hospital rooms, dental services, eyeglasses, chiropractic services, care outside of U.S., acupuncture, hearing aids, long term or custodial care in nursing homes or most prescription drugs. To qualify for Medicare, a person must meet at least one of following: (1)Be age 65 and eligible for Social Security or railroad retirement benefits, (2)Have been receiving Social Security disability income for at least 24 months, or (3)Have end stage renal (kidney) disease. If one continues to work after age 65 or decides not to enroll for Social Security benefits at age 65, he/she may still receive Medicare benefits. Permanent legal aliens also qualify for Medicare when they have lived in U.S. for at least five years or more continuously prior to eligibility date. They may also qualify when they are not eligible for Social Security benefits or railroad retirement benefits, but they usually will have to pay premiums for Medicare Part A. If one qualifies for Social Security or railroad retirement benefits, his or her Medicare enrollment is automatic. If one is not age 65, he/she may apply with local Social Security office during 7 month period that starts 3 months before their 65th birthday. When applying 3 months before turning 65, Medicare coverage begins in birthday month. When applying in birthday month or during 3 months following, coverage will be delayed for up to 3 more months. Enrollment may also be done between January 1 and March 31 of any year once becoming eligible, but there may be a penalty for late enrollment and an effective date of July 1.
Accountability In GovernmentWritten by Arleen M. Kaptur
The government is biggest employer in world. They hire and maintain more employees than any other organization in history.
The question is whether elected officials (who are really employees of every person in their jurisdiction, voted into office to represent concerns of voter) and employees of government are accountable to same standards and common practices that all other workers are. This is food for thought.
When you contact any government office, are you prepared to receive an autorespond answer thanking you for your time and input but then never hear from them again? Do you picture that wastebasket file drawer just under e-mail printer ready to accept any and all messages? Is this something you can take with you to polling place when important time comes to pick and choose those that you want to represent you and what you would like to see nation, your state, or your local government achieve? Most emphatically, yes.
If any government official (elected or just hired) does not offer common courtesy of an answer to questions and concerns, then there is always someone in wing who is also capable and would appreciate general public enough to offer them this small token of value. Too busy-too many requests? In this type of position, it comes with territory. It is part of job-description, and no voter should ever be given a pat-automatic response that everyone knows leads to nowhere but to that inevitable file drawer just beneath computer printer.
Accountability seems to grow less and less in those who become too comfortable in their positions and feel that they are unbeatable and in permanent employment. As there is no work security in private sector, may those in public office also remember that there is no job security in government either.