Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Ideas, Actions, and Inspiration for a Better Tomorrow - November 1 Edition

Affordable Care Act, Open Enrollment

ACA Open Enrollment: If You Buy Coverage in the Individual Market 

“If you buy your health plan on your own (rather than getting coverage through an employer), you may purchase a 2018 plan either through your state’s health insurance marketplace or off-exchange. If you are low-income, you may be eligible for Medicaid coverage. If you don’t have health coverage in 2018, you may be subject to a tax penalty.


All plans in the individual market must be comprehensive, covering doctor visits, hospitalization, prescription drugs and maternity care without restrictions for physical or mental illnesses or conditions that existed before coverage began. Preventive services like immunizations, screenings and birth control, are covered with no additional out-of-pocket cost. Insurers cannot charge you more based on your medical history or because you are a woman. Insurers can only vary premiums based on your age, the number of the people in your family covered by the policy, and whether you use tobacco.

Plans both in and out of state marketplaces come in four levels – bronze, silver, gold and platinum.  The metal levels signify differences in the amount of deductibles and other-out-of-of pocket costs they require for covered benefits. In general, bronze plans tend to have the highest deductibles and lowest premiums, while gold plans generally have lower deductibles but charge higher monthly premiums. All plans are required to have an annual out-of-pocket limit on your cost sharing for covered services in-network. That limit can be no higher than $7,350 per person in 2018 ($14,700 in a family policy.) If you are under 30, you may be able to get a “catastrophic” insurance plan that charges the highest possible deductible ($7,350), with monthly premiums that are even lower than under bronze plans.”

Childhood Obesity, Education

“As childhood obesity soars among low-income communities with limited access to fresh produce, some educators in Colorado are combating the problem by joining the farm-to-preschool movement. Now these preschoolers are learning their ABCs while picking veggies from the school garden and preparing healthy meals. Special correspondent Cat Wise reports.

Social Media, Regulation, Monopolies

“Three of the most recognized companies in the world—Google, Facebook, and Twitter—served as target practice Tuesday as executives submitted to two hours of questioning from a Senate subcommittee on terrorism about how exactly Kremlin-backed operatives used their platforms to hurt Hillary Clinton’s prospects of winning the presidency, spread disinformation, and stoke social unrest to American voters before and after the 2016 election

But that was only the beginning. On Wednesday, general counsel from all three companies have two more hearings to sit through with the House and Senate intelligence committees.

At Tuesday’s hearing, senators came armed with display boards pasted with printouts of
Russian-backed content that appeared engineered to rile the far edges of America’s deeply polarized electorate. And while many of the senators who submitted questions aren’t as fluent in social media as a YouTube star or a Twitter-addled journalist, the power of social media to influence, deceive, and manipulate voters wasn’t lost on anyone. Nor was the fact that these massive internet platforms have, in a sense, grown out of control.

…Facebook admitted that it is unable to know whom it’s doing business with, which is exactly how Russian-backed actors posing as faux activist groups and nonprofits were able to buy ads and create inauthentic pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Russian agents were even able to organize over 60 real-life events from coast to coast across the United States before and after the election, at least 22 of which drew American attendees according to a Monday report in the Wall Street Journal.”

Leadership, Gratitude

“A few years ago, I made my first gratitude list, naming those who bring out the best in me. They include:

  • My dad, who showed me how to live and lead.
  • My mom, who made me feel loved every day of my life and taught me to pass on that love to others.
  • My wife, Margaret, who fills my life with joy.
  • Elmer Towns, Theologian, who sparked my dream of building a great church.
  • John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach, who encouraged me to make every day my masterpiece.
  • My workplace team, who inspire me to keep reaching, turn visions into reality, and rein me in when I am out of control.
I wrote for 30 minutes straight that day, filling line after line. I could have written for three hours and still not included everyone who has touched my life. That’s why I add to it periodically—sometimes in writing but more often in simple reflection. It’s my way of acknowledging the gifts people offer me daily, from those who inspire my wildest dreams to the server who takes a minute to deliver a kind word with my cup of coffee.

This reflection time allows me to see that gratitude is the antidote to the three deadly diseases that can ruin a leader: pride, isolation and selfishness. When your name graces a company, it’s easy to develop an inflated sense of self-importance. How quickly we forget the many hands that contribute to our success. Such arrogance drives us away from people. The resulting isolation blinds us to the needs of others. From such a cauldron, selfishness percolates and ultimately spills over into every decision we make.

Gratitude counteracts those tendencies. When we thank people, we’re reminded of our dependence on them and inspired to serve their needs instead of insisting they meet ours.”


"When your cat gets stuck, who you gonna call?

In the US state of Washington, there are some incredibly tall trees that can reach up to 30 metres high. So when cats climb into them, they often find they can't get down again.

Shaun Sears and Tom Otto are professional tree climbers and they realised there was a cat problem. So they decided to do something about it - and so Canopy Cat Rescue was born."

Click here to watch the video.

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