MEDICARE COVERAGE RULES CHANGED

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In a major change in Medicare coverage rules, the Obama Administration has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit and end Medicare’s longstanding practice of requiring that beneficiaries with chronic conditions and disabilities show a likelihood of improvement in order to receive coverage of skilled care and therapy services.The policy …

Romney’s Plans for Medicaid

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As the presidential campaign unfolds, the differences in approaches to Medicare by President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney have taken center stage. But what is getting far less scrutiny: Romney’s plans for Medicaid. He would convert the health care program for the poor, disabled and elderly into a …

5 Things to Discuss Before Retirement

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You may have a vision for your retirement, but does your spouse share that vision? Spouses often disagree about many key retirement details. It is important to work together to come up with a plan you both can accept. A 2011 study by Fidelity Investments found that many husbands and wives are …

Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Law

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In a dramatic victory for President Barack Obama, the Supreme Court upheld the 2010 health care law Thursday, (June 28, 2012) preserving Obama’s landmark legislative achievement. The majority opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, who held that the law was a valid exercise of Congress’s power to tax. …

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Appeals Court: Denying federal benefits to same-sex couples is unconstitutional A federal appeals court has ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act, a law that denies a host of federal benefits to same-sex married couples, is unconstitutional. The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ruled Thursday that the …

What are you waiting for?

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Let’s say you have a child with “special needs,” or a sister, brother, mother or other family member. You have not created a special needs trust as part of your own estate plan. Why not? We know why not. We have heard pretty much all the explanations and excuses. Here …

How to Select an In-Home Aide

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Studies show that older Americans want to remain in their homes for as long as possible – even when they are struggling. For growing numbers of elders – and concerned family members – the solution to their struggle is a home aide. If your family is considering hiring an aide, the …

QUESTIONS HELP TELL MEMORY LOSS FROM DEMENTIA

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Researchers found that a simple questionnaire can help differentiate individuals experiencing normal age-related memory loss from those likely to be developing dementia. Note that those who often repeated questions, statements, and stories on the same day also were at very high risk for the development of amnestic mild cognitive impairment. …

Trusts and Trust Taxation

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Two Categories of Trusts: Revocable and Irrevocable Revocable TrustsA revocable trust is a trust which can be revoked or amended by its creator at any time and without anyone’s consent. Of course, the creator of the trust retains the unrestricted control of the trust assets so long as he or …

Using Pooled Trusts in Estate Planning

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IntroductionWhen family members provide in their estate plans for individuals with disabilities, a bequest to a stand-alone special needs trust or to a special needs trust included in the will or revocable living trust is the usual vehicle of choice, especially when there is a need to protect eligibility for …

The CLASS Act

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On October 14, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it would not implement the portion of the Health Care Reform Act that was intended to provide voluntary long term care benefits for working Americans. The program known as the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act …

It’s Happened!

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After many years of speculation, warnings and minor revisions, it has finally happened: New York State has imposed new regulations stating that the use of LIFE ESTATE interests in real property are no longer an effective strategy for families trying to protect 100% of their property from the high cost …

The 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s

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Memory loss that disrupts daily life is not a typical part of aging. It may be a symptom of Alzheimer’s, a fatal brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. Every individual may experience one or more of these signs in different degrees. If you …

Comparing Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

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The two primary disability income programs, SSI and SSDI, sound similar, but they are very different programs with different benefits and different eligibility requirements. This article is a brief summary of these two important benefit programs. Social Security Disability Insurance Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a cash assistance program …