Schedule an in-office, Zoom or phone consultation Here.

The Center for Medicaid Services recently issued a notable statement requesting that parties conform with the duties and obligation of third-parties found in existing law. The Center recently reviewed each state’s Medicaid plan to make sure that states complied with recent statute changes. The Center for Medicaid decided that many states are yet to revise their guidelines to meet regulations found in the Bipartisan Budget Act as well as the Medicaid Services Investment and Accountability Act. Regulations found in the Bipartisan Act include statements that impact regulations connected to the treatment of some kinds of care. 

The Background of These Changes

Medicaid often disperses funds only as a “last resort”, which means that Medicaid issues payment for treatment and services only when it is assessed that no other payment sources exist. The Social Security Act’s Section 1902 requires all 50 states to take measures deemed reasonable when deciding on third-party payer liability.  The Act also specifies what the term “third-party payer” means. The definition of “third-party payer” encompasses various entities including health insurers, qualified health plans, and any other entity that are classified as legally responsible for certain medical treatment. The Bipartisan Act revised section 1902 to require all 50 states to utilize standard cost avoidance methods rather than paying the total amount allowed under the appropriate payment schedule then seeking third-party reimbursement. 

Disputes involving conservatorship and guardianship fall under the purview of probate litigation, while trust and will debates also fall under this category. The best approach to not mitigating the risk of probate litigation is to plan. Your plans may very well include comprehensive estate plans as well as measures to resolve incapacity issues and documentary evidence that supports gifts. 

The Creation of Wills and Trusts

Creating a will before a person passes away allows the creator the chance to both control and communicate their wishes for how their assets should be handled. The creator of a will is also able to nominate either their personal representative or the person charged with administering their estate. By creating a will, your estate plan will not be subject to the control of New York’s intestacy law. Individuals who create wills are instead permitted to have the terms of their will dictate the distribution of their estates and resolve their affairs. A nominated personal representative has the capacity to act in such a position. Without this appointment, surviving loved ones are often left to fight over how an estate is administered. Without the will’s creator appointing such a person, loved ones often fight over who is suited for the job. Additionally, the terms of a will must be clear and inarguable to anyone who reads them to reduce the risk of future litigation. 

The Social Security Administration recently revised its rules addressing how pandemic-related financial assistance can end up impacting a person’s eligibility for Supplemental Security Income or monthly Social Security Income benefits. The Social Security Administration once counted various types of assistance as income and resources for social security income purposes, which led to individuals having their social security income benefits reduced or suspended. Sometimes, social security benefits were outright denied. 

A Change to What the Agency Counts as Assistance

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, the Social Security Administration has decided to not count many types of pandemic-related assistance against either Supplemental Security Income eligibility or benefit amounts. Some types of assistance that are now excluded include economic impact payments, state stimulus payments, unemployment assistance, paycheck protection, and loans or grants to employers and self-employed workers.

Deciding how to best care for elderly parents is never easy, particularly when they face difficulties in performing daily living activities for themselves. In an effort to resolve your responsibilities as well as meet your parents’ needs, you can unexpectedly end up facing various challenges, particularly if your loved one resides in a nursing home. Data currently suggests that only 4.5 percent of older adults or 1.5 million people live in nursing homes.

 At the end of the day, you likely desire for your parents to reside in a facility which may very well be a nursing home where they will be able to thrive as well make the most of their remaining time. With these issues in mind, it’s a good idea to review and plan around all aspects of nursing home life. 

Adapting to a Schedule

A study conducted by researchers at Cornell and the University of Toronto recently found that over 1 in 10 older adults in the state of New York is at risk of becoming the victims of elder abuse over the next decades. Poor health has been determined to be a major risk factor in abuse. Black elderly individuals are also reported to be at a greater risk of financial abuse. 

The study, Estimated Incidence and Factors Associated with Risk of Elder Mistreatment in New York State,  tracked abuse over time among hundreds of older adults who had not previously been abused. The study subsequently determined that elder abuse is widespread. The research followed elderly adults over a 10 year period. 

While the study only examined New York state, the researchers who performed the study have commented that the results are likely to be indicative of the conditions that exist in the rest of the country. 

Much attention has been paid the last year to the conservatorship of Britney Spears. A judge this year recently denied a 

request to remove Spears’ father as her conservator. Consequently, some people expect that Brittney Spears will soon seek for the court to end her conservatorship entirely. Due to this case, many people have begun to consider whether a conservatorship might be right for them or their loved one. This article reviews some of the most common questions that people have about conservatorships and the role that they can play in estate planning.

What A Conservatorship Is

TD Wealth recently released a survey of estate planning experts who report that health care costs are now the biggest threat to estate planning. While only 7% of estate planning experts reported this information in 2019, 22% of estate planning professionals cited health care costs as at the forefront of estate planning concerns. Additionally, concerns about market volatility rose substantially from last year. Family conflict fell from 25% in 2020 to 10% this year. Over the course of previous years, TD Wealth reported that the most common cause of family conflict was the failure to communicate estate plans with family members. The number of family conflicts fell substantially in 2021. The study also reported that 89% of estate planners reported female clients losing jobs, leaving the workforce, or facing salary cuts due to the pandemic. As a result, a large number of female clients made changes to their financial situation. Women have been negatively impacted more than men due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Prepare for How Much You Will Need in Health Care Costs

An average retired couple age 65 in 2021 needs approximately $300,000 saved after taxes to cover health care expenses that they face during retirement. This amount, however, can vary substantially based on when you retire as well as your health later on in life. The sooner that you can prepare a plan for how you will pay these costs, the better. The amount that you need also depends on what type of financial accounts you use to pay for your healthcare.

Many times when a widow remarries, unseen financial challenges in addition to a new marriage occur. Unfortunately, this means that many times what widows see as great matches quickly evaporate into economic despair. Fortunately, financial advisors and estate planning attorneys can help to avoid such undesirable results. 

 
    Remarriage leaves widows financially exposed. Various strategies, however, can greatly reduce this risk while also protecting assets from a new spouse who might have questionable intentions. Many couples, unfortunately, overlook the fact that what most widows want more than anything is to feel safe and secure about the future. This article reviews some helpful estate planning steps whether you’re a recent or long-time widower to make sure that your assets remain protected.

 
Beneficiary Designations

As they look towards the end of their lives, most people want nothing more than to spend every day independent and in their own homes. In reality, however, this is not always possible. Deciding to play a loved one in a nursing home can be a difficult decision and can leave those who helped make the decision plagued with uncertainty and guilt. Despite these negative feelings, it’s often necessary to place a loved one in a nursing home. 

Fortunately, even if your loved one has recently had to enroll in a nursing home, you can still be there for them. While you might not be your loved one’s primary caregiver now, you still can play an influential role in making sure whether or not they are happy. This article reviews some helpful strategies to remember if you want to continue playing a positive role in your loved one’s care after they enter a nursing home. 

Acknowledge that the Change Is a Necessary One

President Biden as well as progressive Democrats have proposed lowering Medicare’s eligibility age to 60 to help older individuals obtain affordable coverage. A new study, however, has found that Medicare is more expensive than other options for individuals with modest assets. Two reasons exist why Medicare is more expensive: traditional Medicare contains gaps in what it covers which often necessitates purchasing supplemental insurance.  Additionally, premiums for the Affordable Care Act have dropped substantially due to President Biden’s COVID relief measure and as a result, the act has become more attractive. This article reviews some critical details that you should remember if you’re helping a loved one consider whether Medicare is the best option for them. 

# 1 – Long Term Care Insurance

Provided that you’re capable of being insured and can pay for the premiums, long-term care might be the best option that you need to satisfy your needs. Coverage, however, varies based on the insurance company you utilize as well as what plan you end up choosing. Assisted living costs continue to climb, though. If you can pursue long-term care insurance as an option, you should make sure to start planning early. The more a person ages, the more difficult a time an individual has getting covered by an insurance carrier. 

Contact Information