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Co-Payments for Veterans' Health Care

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides health care benefits to veterans. The plan covers a number of health care services, including preventative services, diagnostic and treatment services, and hospitalization. It may also cover nursing home and other long-term care options.

The Need for Medicaid Planning

One of the greatest fears of older Americans is that they may end up in a nursing home. This not only means a great loss of personal autonomy, but also a tremendous financial price. Depending on location and level of care, nursing homes cost between $40,000 and $180,000 a year.

To Ensure Your End-of-Life Wishes Are Honored, a Directive May Not Be Enough

Do you want to live out your last days hooked up to a ventilator or a feeding tube? Whether you want your life to be extended as long as possible or whether you want no life-sustaining measures at all, you need to make your wishes clear beforehand. Chances are you won’t be able to express yourself when a crisis is at hand and a decision needs to be made.

Medicaid's Asset Rules

In order to be eligible for Medicaid benefits a nursing home resident may have no more than $2,000 in "countable" assets (the figure may be somewhat higher in some states). Note that Medicaid is a state-run program, so the rules are somewhat different in each state, although there are federal guidelines.

What Is an Advance Health Care Directive (or Living Will)?

What is an advance health care directive (or living will)? Helping someone prepare for end-of-life medical decisions can be of great comfort to both the person and to others in his family. The document that helps you do this is an advance health care directive, or living will -- what it's called and what it includes depends on where the person lives -- sometimes paired with a power of attorney for health care. For information about how to set up an advance health care directive or living will, see Advance Health Care Directives and Living Wills: A Step-by-Step Guide .

How an Adult Guardianship, or Conservatorship, Works

If the person in your care is in good health, you may not be thinking about her possible need for a conservatorship, or adult guardianship. But if you're considering this step, you're not alone. The unfortunate truth is that many older adults have long periods toward the end of life when they're not able to make decisions for themselves -- due to Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia, a stroke, an accident, or some other serious medical condition. If the person has an advance health care directive , the decision-making about her medical care, if she becomes incapacitated, may already be provided for. If she has a durable power of attorney for finances , there will be someone to take care of money matters.

Five Topics to Discuss With Your Spouse Before You Retire

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 not in accord about retirement. For example, the study found that one-third of couples disagreed or don’t know where they were going to live in retirement and 62 percent didn't agree on their expected retirement ages.

How to Apply for SSI

If you think you may qualify for Social Security's Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you should fill out an online disability report and then call your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office to complete your application. (If you can't complete the online disability report, your local SSA office can assist you with the entire application.)

Long-Term Care Coverage for Veterans

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides health care benefits to veterans. The plan covers a number of health care services, including preventative services, diagnostic and treatment services, and hospitalization. The VA also offers a number of long-term care options through its health plan.