Attention High Schools – It’s Time for the Montana Economics Challenge

Quiz your students Economics knowledge at the Montana Economics Challenge

Register your team for the Montana Economics Challenge, taking place on March 4, 2013, in Helena. Click the links below to see the brochure and registration form for this fun event. Registrations are due by February 12, 2013. Don't miss out!

Economics Challenge 2013 – Informational Brochure (PDF)

Economics Challenge 2013 – Registration Form (doc)

Every spring, the Federal Reserve Bank in Helena invites Montana high school teachers of social studies, government, economics, business, and enrichment programs to assemble teams of students to compete in a challenging array of tests covering economic concepts, issues and reasoning.

The purpose of the Economics Challenge is to increase students' exposure to and interest in economics in an entertaining atmosphere. The Economics Challenge began in 1988 as a product of the Minnesota Council on Economic Education. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and its Helena Branch later became involved with the Montana Economics Challenge first being held in 1996.

Teams are comprised of their coach and up to a maximum of four students, who compete individually and as a team. Essentially, each participant takes a 15-question, multiple choice test in each of the following three areas: Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and International Trade and Economics. To determine team scores, the top three individuals’ scores in each category are combined. The top two teams after the first three rounds will compete against each other in a buzzer round on Current Events to determine the final winner. Awards for top scores are given to individuals and to teams. 

The winning team continues on to a Regional competition / exam, and can progress on to the National Finals this May in New York. 

Make sure to check the Montana Council on Economic Education home page for information on the next challenge!

The Spring 2013 Economics Challenge competition is made possible through the generous support of Helena Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Montana Bankers Association, The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, Mountain West Bank, Council for Economic Education, and the Montana Council on Economic Education.

Officials Report that Medical Phone Scams on the Rise in Montana

Montanans need to beware of callers trying to obtain personal information
The Montana Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) program has recently received several reports of apparent telephone scams across Montana in which callers are trying to get personal information under the guise of updating or renewing Medical cards. The callers already have the bank routing numbers and have all tried to obtain bank account numbers.
“Medicare will never call you because they already have your information,” said Renee Labrie-Shanks, Montana SMP Program Manager. “Anyone calling to talk about changes to Medicare, or anything to do with the Affordable Care Act, is a scammer.” Additionally, since these calls use the generic term “medical”, it leaves people more apt to assign it to whatever is going on in their lives at the moment. In one case, someone just renewed their Medicare Part D plan and assumed this had something to do with that and gave out their number.
If you should receive a call from someone trying to collect your personal information, do not tell them anything, she advises. Instead, try to gather as much information as you can about the person calling, and then report the calls. If you did give out your bank account information, speak to your bank immediately and possibly even close your account. You can report any suspicious or potentially fraudulent healthcare calls to your local Montana SMP by calling 1-800-332-2272.
Montana SMP is a statewide program which fights healthcare fraud by educating older adults on how to protect, detect and report fraud. Missoula Aging Services administers the program through partner organizations around the state.
For more information on medical identity theft, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s site on this topic here.

Help End Elder Abuse in Montana

Say NO to elder abuse in Montana! Tell your State Senator to Support SB134!

The Montana Elder Abuse Prevention Act is not working for seniors or the prosecutors that want to charge abusers through this law. Senator John Brenden has proposed Senate Bill 134 that will revise and strengthen the Montana Elder Abuse Prevention Act, so it can be used by prosecutors to charge criminals with financial and physical abuse. This is a good bill that should be passed by the Montana Senate and is supported by AARP Montana.

The current law has only been used in 65 cases, even though Montana Adult Protective Services reported over 5,500 reports of elder abuse throughout the state in 2010.
Montana’s population of seniors is rapidly growing and accounts of elder abuse will only increase. Abusers need to be held accountable for their actions.
Your help is needed to send a strong message to your legislators urging their support for SB134.
You can send your message here.