Help With Choosing a Health Insurance Policy

My wife is somewhat of an expert at finding affordable health care policies through the government website. People living in Michigan have a lot of choices when it comes to health insurance. Lori will take the time to walk you through the process to figure out what kind of policy you need, what kind of coverage could fit your lifestyle, and what kind of subsidy you may claim. Just book a room at Munro House B&B in Jonesville on any Monday through Friday night in November or December, and she will help you navigate the healthcare website to choose a plan that could work for you and your family. Then, you can take the policy number to your local insurance agent and have them confirm that it is good for you and have them write the policy to get you insured with an affordable policy.

Many people have no experience with affordable health care, but have a huge opinion about it. Unless you are enrolled in the program, you have no first-hand experience with a real policy and how it works. Truthfully, it has made significant changes to the way insurance companies treat their policy holders, and has made health care affordable for millions of people who have taken the time to see how it can work for them. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, is not an insurance policy. It is a law that lists guidelines that insurance companies must follow in order to provide Americans with comprehensive insurance policies without restrictions. It allows policy holders to choose the amount of coverage they want at a price they can afford.

Most Americans get their health insurance through work. Their employer chooses the insurance plans that will be offered. The ACA affects their insurance, too, but the policies we will be talking about are the ones available to individuals who are self-employed or do not get insurance through their employer. The changes that are the most valuable include:

  1. You can no longer be denied insurance because of a pre-existing condition.
  2. You can no longer have your insurance cancelled because you get very, very sick.
  3. You can no longer be denied insurance for any reason.
  4. You no longer have an annual maximum benefit payout.
  5. You no longer have a lifetime maximum benefit payout.
  6. You can choose a policy that pays for annual preventive care.
  7. You can choose how much you will pay out of your own pocket before insurance takes over.
  8. You can choose the most you will pay out of your own pocket in a year for hospital bills.
  9. You can choose the best policy that will work for you under your circumstances.
  10. You can have your monthly payment reduced based on your income.
  11. Your kids can be on your plan until they are 26 years old.

We have experience with how horrible health insurance used to be and have first-hand experience with how these changes directly affect us in a positive way. The ACA questionnaire is short and simple. They need to know your name, age, gender, and if you are a smoker. This information is necessary for every family member to be insured under one policy. Additionally, they need to know your Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI). Your MAGI is what you actually earn after adjusting for allowed deductions on your annual tax return.

The best thing about the subsidies is that they are based on your income only. It doesn't matter how big your house is or what kind of car you drive. The only thing that matters is your MAGI. That is figured out on your annual tax return. It is important that this number is predictable and accurate. If you miss the estimate of your MAGI, you could get a refund, or you could owe money when you file your annual income tax return. It is recommended to estimate the most you could earn, so you don't owe anything extra at tax time, and might actually get a refund. Every American should take every tax deductions that they can. These subsidies are actually allowable tax deductions that people of mid to low income are able to claim.

Lori has nothing to gain by helping you find affordable health care. She enjoys educating people to understand what kinds of insurance are available in Michigan. Misinformation and political rhetoric has scared too many people into making bad decisions or no decision with regard to their health care. Visit us on a weeknight in November or December to learn more about how to choose an ACA health insurance policy. To select a new policy that takes effect January 1, you must sign up by December 15.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"


2015 Murder Mystery Dinner Parties

November is Murder Mystery Month at Munro House in Jonesville. An interactive Murder Mystery Dinner Party is scheduled for 3 weekends in November. A 5 course dinner is served while guests participate in the murder mystery. Parties will be held the weekends of November 14, 21, and 28. The good news is that at Munro House, you don't have to bring an entire group to have an event. We have opened these dates up to the public, and we have always had enough people to play. Four couples are required. The best games have between 8 and 12 players. The first weekend is already sold out.

There is no pressure to be prepared for the Murder Mystery at the Munro House. Guests do not need to purchase costumes to wear for their role, and no one has to rehearse their lines. We take care of all of that. Players arrive and are invited to engage in small talk in preparation for the evening. Our hostess selects appropriate character roles for the different personalities that arrive for the event. A hat from our costume closet differentiates the various  roles that will be assumed during the party.

A script is provide for each participant. The script consists of 4-8 lines of dialogue in each of 3 acts that must be delivered by each character during the course of dinner. Ad-libbing is encouraged. Even the murderer does not know of their guilt, so no one can "spill the beans" during the course of dinner. After 3 acts of play, a discussion of the evening ensues. Fingers are pointed, and everyone gets a chance to make a case for who they think is the guilty party. One by one, we tell you who didn't do it, and why. Finally, one character is left, and it is explained how they are obviously the guilty party.

Murder mysteries are done 3 weekends in November and on random dates throughout the year. A 5 course dinner is served while guests play the game. Additionally, a private event can be scheduled for groups of 4-6 couples on any available date. 2 Night packages start at $487. 1 night packages start at $278.
Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"


2015 Lewis Emery Treasure Hunt

Mark your calendar and sign up early. Saturday, October 24, 2015, is the date of the 82nd annual Lewis Emery (Lewis Family) Treasure Hunt. Gather at the new Merchant Building at Hillsdale County Fairgrounds around 5:00. Event begins at 6:00. The cost is $20 (cash) per carload. Sign up any time at the Hillsdale Finish Line between 2:00-5:00. Latecomers could sign up at the fairgrounds on the day of the event, but it is recommended to enlist your team early so the organizers have a good idea of the number of clues to provide. There are typically around 100 teams of 4 (or more) that hunt for the treasure every year.

The hunt typically begins with a simple puzzle. Decipher the code and seek the next clue that is typically hidden somewhere on the fairgrounds property. The second clue is usually one of the toughest ones. Carloads of puzzle solvers scatter around the grounds and try to figure out where to go next. There are typically 10 puzzles to solve over the course of the evening. Each of them are placed in remote locations somewhere in Hillsdale County. The puzzles are usually hidden in black plastic garbage bags that are secluded in the weeds along roadways or in public parks. Flashlights are a necessity. Pencils, papers, cell phones with charging cords can be very helpful.

Occasionally, simple things like scissors, tape, and can openers can be helpful. Sometimes the phone book, the Bible, today's newspaper, or the latest Tip Off are necessary. One year, a CD player was required. Access to YouTube videos and other sources of social media have also been helpful. Snacks and caffeinated beverages will also help teams get through the night. My personal goal is to finish by midnight--that's a 6 hour hunt. More often, our team roles in during the wee hours. The good news is that there is a feast awaiting everyone at the final destination. Usually it's sloppy Joes, chips, cookies, and soft drinks. Contestants can give up early and call a hotline to get the location of the final destination to get some food.

The first team to finish wins $500 cash, along with bragging rights. They also get to design and organize next year's hunt. Other top finishers get smaller cash prizes. Our team usually finishes in the top 25, but we have never won any money. It is a fun night to spend with family or friends. We may come in late, but we always finish. We hope to arrive at the final destination while there is still food being served. At some point, the organizers have to call it a night. Last year, we rolled in at 3:05 AM and were able to commiserate and get a bite to eat. It was not a stellar performance by our team, but we were still in the top 25. We got stumped on a clue and wasted too much time. We were hours behind the eventual winners. We had driven over 170 miles without leaving the county. We consumed large quantities of Mountain Dew, Slim Jims, and Snickers. We had a very good time. 
My team dresses in NFL jerseys. We have headband lights, hand-held spotlights, and multiple cords for our assortment of smart phones and tablets. We play our car stereo loud and have always had a theme song and a war cry. My team is lined up and ready to go. For more information, call this year's organizer Jennifer Leggett at 517-320-1581.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"


Free Bed and Breakfast for Veterans - UPDATE

Veterans are celebrated in Jonesville Michigan on Veterans Day at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. An annual program is performed at the Jonesville Middle School Gym. Local and visiting service men and women are honored by middle and high school students, along with local residents, officials, and business people. One era of conflict is remembered as the main part of the program. Students who have competed for the honor will give their speech on freedom and patriotism. The local band plays while flag twirlers perform and a color guard is present.

To assure veterans that they are in town in time to enjoy this program, Munro House offers free rooms to veterans of any era and any branch of service for the night before. Tuesday, November 10, is the date for free bed and breakfast. At random intervals, we will release rooms in this contest via our Facebook feed. The first veteran to call, will get the room for free. We will continue to release all of our available rooms at random in the weeks preceding Veterans Day until they are all gone. To guarantee that the vet will come to Jonesville, we take a $30 deposit. Upon arrival, we will give them a $30 gift card for dinner at Saucy Dog in Jonesville. The bed and breakfast will cost them nothing. A photo of the veteran in uniform is required to verify service.

Step 1 is to 'Like" Munro House Bed and Breakfast on Facebook. Step 2 is to watch for a posting in your Facebook feed that announces the release of a specific room. Step 3 is to be the first caller to 1-800-320-3792. It is just that simple. Sometimes, the room is claimed within minutes, sometimes it takes longer. Then come to Jonesville to have dinner downtown and breakfast with other veterans. Then go 3 blocks to the middle school for the Veterans Day program.

UPDATE: A special event in town on Tuesday, November 10 has caused us to move the free night to Wednesday, November 11. Veterans will still be encouraged to attend the 11/11/15 event at the Jonesville Middle School Gym at 11:00 AM and will be allowed an early check-in to their room following the ceremony. Guests unable to make the morning program may check in during our regular times 3:00-7:00.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"


Dinner - Theater Package for "The Mousetrap"

Agatha Christie's play, "The Mousetrap", will be playing at the Sauk Theater in Jonesville, MI October 15-25, 2015. The Mousetrap is a murder mystery that is the longest running play in history. The Mousetrap opened in the Westend of London and has been continuously playing since 1952. With over 25,000 performances, it is easily the longest running show of any kind during the modern era. Patrons are encouraged to keep the twist ending to themselves as not to spoil it for folks who have not yet seen the play. The shows are scheduled for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8:00, and Sunday afternoon matinees at 3:00.

The Sauk Theater has a history of putting on great and popular shows at its 245 seat theater. Well known plays like "12 Angry Jurors", "Frankenstein", and "Dial 'M' for Murder" have been performed over the last few years, along with fantastic musicals like "les Miserables", "Fiddler on the Roof", and "Godspell". Local favorites have included "Escanaba in da Moonlight", "Titanic - the musical", and "A Charlie Brown Christmas".

An incredible pool of talent has graced the Sauk stage with most of it coming from Hillsdale County. However, many cast members ome in from Coldwater, Jackson, and Lansing. The theater has been hosting 5-6 plays each year along with special events that have included a series of one act plays, improv troupes, and workshops, along with other organizations, like schools and theater for youth, that put on their own productions. The acoustics and sound system are great, the seating is intimate, the performances are high quality, and the ticket prices are reasonable. At $10 per seat, the current ticket pricing is a deal on a quality live performance.

The Munro House in Jonesville offers an overnight dinner and theater package that includes a pre-show meal at Olivia's Chop House followed by tickets to the show.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"


Lodging Sale During Hillsdale County Fair Week

The Hillsdale County Fair is billed as "The Most Popular Fair on Earth". It is also the last fair of the season in Michigan. It begins on Sunday, September 27 and runs through Saturday October 3. It is a very big deal around here. So many kids are active in 4-H, that school is closed on some days during fair week. Some folks come for the animals, some come for the entertainment, some come for the rides, and the rest come for the food. Fair Food is something everybody looks forward to gorging on. Everything from foot long hot dogs, to elephant ears, to Fiske Fries are items local people wait all year to have again.

To encourage couples to come to the fair, we are offering standard rooms at the lowest price of the year--just $99 per night when you stay 2 nights or more Sunday through Thursday of fair week. Regular pricing applies on the weekend. Admission to the fair is just $5.00 per person, so for a reasonable price you can get entertainment, food, and lodging while enjoying a fall getaway. Country singer Trace Adkins is the headliner on Wednesday night, along with other fun events like tractor pulls and a demolition derby.

We try to get to the fair several times during fair week. Sometimes we go to volunteer time in the parking lot, but mostly we go for the food and to do some people watching. I like to spend most of my time at the band shell where local entertainers put on cool shows. I like the magicians and the singers, but I always have a good time watching the cloggers. My friends perform as the Unforgetables. They do a capella 3 part harmony from before the rock era. My wife likes the animal barns, especially the horses.

I know I'm going to be at the fair and hope you can come along, too.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"


Southern Michigan Fall Getaway Ideas

We have several Fall Getaway Ideas that couples can enjoy for an Autumn Getaway. Fall is my favorite time of year. I want to get out and do things. I want to enjoy the sunshine and the mild temperatures. I want to view the farmers' harvest and the color change of the landscape. I want to eat simple meals during the day and go to a great restaurant at night. Above all, I want to spend time with my wife.

After long weeks making decisions at work and at home, it's nice to take a weekend getaway and have a good deal of the decisions made for you. That is why the Munro House Bed and Breakfast has set up packages to create an easy to follow agenda with highly recommended activities where some of the weekend decisions are limited to what time do we eat? and which menu items look the best? The rest is part of our plan. Great restaurants are just 2 blocks away. Choose barbeque or fine dining. A 7 screen movie theater is 6 minutes away. Choose one of several newly released movies. A selection of high quality masseuses can be scheduled to give you the rub down in the comfort of this great old house. Backroads can be recommended to view Amish and traditional farms along with the Fall colors as the leaves change.

Our Foodie Package includes all your meals at our favorite restaurants. Our Romantic Getaway Package includes dinners, flowers, chocolates, and massages. Our Fall Getaway Package includes dinners, massages, and movie tickets. Our All Inclusive Getaway Package has dinners, lunch, chocolates, movies tickets, massages, pedicures, and facials. Each package can be added to a 2 day bed and breakfast getaway. For those people who can only get away for a single night, our One Night Stand Package is dinner and a movie to go with bed and breakfast.

All of these arrangements can be made in a simple 5-7 minute phone call. Your agenda will be set so that it might look like you went out and made all of the arrangements, but in reality, a well proven package was picked from several choices. Any time is a good time for a Fall getaway. Leaves are coming down already and the colors are starting to change. Peak season will be sometime in October. But peak temperatures are in late September. Let's get together and plan a getaway.

Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"


Celebrating Talk Like a Pirate Day

Arrr! September the 19th be the annual International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Celebratin' this little known holiday can git ye some grub, fer free, if yar follows the rules. 1st, ye call out to the Munro House B&B in Jonesville at 1-800-320-3792. Then ye have to start talkin' like a pirate to make yar reservations for a 2 nighter that includes Saturday September 19. When ye git here, ye be gettin' certificates fer free dinners at me favorite places, ye Saucy Dog's Barbeque and Olivia's Chop House. Ye must give me a week's notice to acquire me treasure.

Arrr! The booty can be claimed, but ye have to be talkin' like a pirate or ye scurvy dogs will get nothin' more than clean quarters and a fillin' meal for breakfast. Ye land lubbers need to be a pirate for the day to earn the prize. Makin' me laugh is the secret to me sharin' me bounty. I might be wearin' me eye patch, dew rag, and hoop earing to fit the part. Join me if ye like, scurvy dogs who don't talk the talk be eatin' on their own.


Mike Venturini
"Life is good in Jonesville"