Health Matters

The biggest news in Medicare for 2016 is the Part B premium. I’m happy to report that for most people with Medicare, the premium will stay the same as it was in 2015: $104.90 per month.

In fact, Part B premiums — which pay for doctor services, outpatient care, and preventive health benefits, among other things — haven’t changed for the last three years (2013, 2014 and 2015).

That’s because of slow growth in medical costs and inflation.

The Coast2Coast Rx Card program has saved Alameda County residents more than $7.5 million dollars since its start. Both the Board of Supervisors and the California State Association of Counties endorse the program.

The complimentary discount prescription card program provides residents and their families with a number of benefits that produce immediate discounts on prescriptions as well as dental, vision, veterinary and hearing services. 

The National Weather Service is forecasting significant winter storms this season that are expected to bring rain, thunderstorms, high surf, wind and associated hazards to the Bay Area.

When heavy rainfall is expected throughout the Bay Area, the volume of rainfall can overwhelm waterways and roadway drainage systems, leading to flash flooding. 

The Mountain Wave Search and Rescue team in Washington State is not your average emergency response team. Using volunteers and no paid responders, the team has logged more than 150 rescues in more than 7,000 hours while covering some 60,000 miles — in just one year. 

In September they invited Alamedan Randy Lantz, lead instructor with the Alameda-based safety training company, Cool Safety, to attend an advanced training program in the shadow of Oregon’s Mount Hood. 

Since the holiday season comes but once a year, while good cheer and celebration is the focus, these celebrations cause trash bins to fill up with extra waste. This year, don’t be so quick to toss everything in the trash, because a lot of items can be recycled, and remember, Santa is watching. Don’t end up on the naughty recycling list.  

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