In brief

Farm Bureau Insurance invites eighth grader to write about heroes

LANSING — Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan is once again sponsoring its annual America & Me Essay Contest—celebrating its 51st year.

For over 50 years, several thousand eighth graders from hundreds of Michigan schools have entered the patriotic writing contest, which encourages Michigan young people to write about their Michigan heroes, especially those individuals who have made a difference in their lives.

This year’s contest, held Sept. 3 through Nov. 15, will again ask students to write on the topic “My Personal Michigan Hero.”

Sign-up kits will be sent to schools throughout Michigan in late August. The contest is open to any eighth-grade student in Michigan enrolled in a public or private school, and offers a variety of awards on the local and statewide levels.

As sponsor of the contest, Farm Bureau Insurance has earned 11 national awards from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.

To learn more about the 51st contest year, view video highlights from last year’s awards day or to read highlights from last year’s entries, visit AmericaAndMe or contact Lisa Fedewa at 517-679-5411. — G.G.

Treasury: MiABLE funds can help with health, independence and quality of life

LANSING — Individuals who have a Michigan Achieving a Better Life Experience investment savings account can use those funds to help with health, independence and quality-of-life expenses, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury.

Known as MiABLE for short, the funds saved in 529(A) accounts can be used to offset the costs associated with a disability. This may include paying for expenses related to education, housing, transportation, employment training and support, assistive technology, personal support services, health care expenses, financial management and administrative services or other eligible expenses.

“The dollars saved in a MiABLE account can be used in many different ways,” State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks said. “For those disabled individuals who need the most flexibility, this is important because they can use their savings or earnings to pay medical bills, school bills, transportation costs or other disability-related expenses.”

Unlike traditional savings account, MiABLE savings are not considered when applying for other state or federal benefits, like Social Security Disability Income, Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program. Funds from a MiABLE account are not taxed if used for qualified disability-related expenses.

According to the U.S. Census, more than 992,000 people under 65 years old – around 10 percent of Michigan’s population – have a disability.

Details: Visit or call 844-656-7225. — G.G.