News Briefs: Medicaid and New DNR Recruits

 Medicare is the best care if you are age 65 or older

If you are age 65 or older and haven’t signed up for Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance), now is the time to consider doing so. The general enrollment period for Medicare Part B runs from January 1 through March 31 each year. Before you make a decision about general enrollment, we want to share some important information. 

Remember: Most people are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part B when they become eligible. If you don’t enroll in Medicare Part B when you first become eligible, you may have to wait until the general enrollment period, which is January 1 through March 31 of each year. At that time, you may have to pay a higher Medicare Part B premium.

Most people first become eligible at age 65, and there is a monthly premium for Medicare Part B. In 2014, the premium for most people is $104.90, the same as it was in 2013. Some high-income individuals pay more than the standard premium. Your Medicare Part B premium can be higher if you do not enroll when you are first eligible, also known as your initial enrollment period. There is a Medicare Part B deductible of $147 in 2014.

You can delay your Medicare Part B enrollment without having to pay higher premiums if you are covered under a group health plan based on your own current employment or the current employment of any family member. You can sign up for Medicare Part B without paying higher premiums.

For more information about Medicare visit or Information about Medicare changes for 2014 is available at 

DNR conservation officer academy starts Jan. 12 with 31 recruits

Thirty-one potential new conservation officers will report on January 12 in Lansing to attend the Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) conservation officer training academy. This is the first conservation officer training academy since 2007, and it will be led by the DNR’s Law Enforcement Division training section.

The academy is funded in the DNR budget through a General Fund appropriation approved by the Legislature and Governor Rick Snyder.

The 31 recruits will complete a 22-week training academy that includes 14 weeks of basic police training and eight weeks of more specialized conservation officer training. Six of the recruits are military veterans, nine are previous law enforcement officers, and two were conservation officers in other states.

DNR conservation officers serve a distinct role in Michigan’s law enforcement community. They are certified police officers with the authority to enforce Michigan’s criminal laws. As conservation officers, they also have unique training in a wide variety of other areas related to the protection of Michigan’s citizens and natural resources.

Recruitment for the next class of conservation officers is ongoing, said Lt. Creig Grey, training supervisor for the DNR’s Law Enforcement Division. The DNR plans to start the next academy in October 2014.

“Men and women interested in a career as a conservation officer and who want to be eligible for the next class should get to work now taking the Michigan Civil Service exam and completing the online job application,” Grey said. “To be eligible for the next academy, candidates should have their exam and application completed by late spring.”

For more information on conservation officers, go to 

This was printed in the January 12, 2014 – January 25, 2014 edition.