By far the largest types of insurance fraud are scams against government and private health care insurers. Scammers frequently target government insurance like Medicare by stealing newly issued medical ID cards and then stealing identities. The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud estimates that tens of billions of dollars are lost annually to these types of fraud. Additionally, medical identity theft is now a top complaint received by the Federal Trade Commission. Billing fraud is also responsible for huge losses to Medicare funds and is difficult to assess as it can be a billing error or intentional fraud.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a medical condition where the body experiences difficulty coping with severe stress. There are many triggers, but it is commonly diagnosed in combat Veterans. PTSD can also be caused by witnessing or living through shocking events such as accidents or crimes.
Age discrimination in the workplace is a problem that has been addressed by lawmakers since the 1960's but continues to be a serious problem. According to study.com, age discrimination is defined as "the practice of letting a person's age unfairly become a factor when deciding who receives a new job, promotion, or other job benefits. Decisions about terminating employees also cannot be solely based on their age.” Age discrimination is illegal and there are laws to protect people from it.
Technological advances have made it easier to stay connected with loved ones all the time. This has included the ability to install cameras in a loved one's nursing home room. These so-called "granny cams" have legal and privacy implications.
The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act enables independence and self-reliance for persons with disabilities. The act created the ABLE account, a powerful tool to help persons with disabilities save money and control their own future. The ABLE account has become enormously popular. States that have implemented ABLE programs report thousands of participants and millions of dollars being saved by persons with disabilities. Ohio opened the first ABLE program on June 1, 2016. Since then more than 34 states have started ABLE programs, with more states joining on a regular basis.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released its latest findings addressing healthy exercise guidelines for older adults. The overall conclusion is that all aging adults should include aerobic and muscle strengthening exercises as well as add balance training. The authors of the study by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) state “All three aspects are important for this population because older adults are at an increased risk of falls, and strength and balance are needed to prevent falls.” Physically active adults are better able to engage in activities of daily living and have improved physical function.
The holidays are upon us and unfortunately many seniors feel even more isolated during this time. Thankfully, technology has provided some interactive gadgets to help lessen feelings of isolation. One of those gadgets, called the GrandPad, is discussed below.
You may think your living will is in order, including instructions regarding resuscitation commonly referred to as a DNR (do not resuscitate). While your wishes in a living will may be appropriately documented, that does not guarantee the instructions will be carried out as you stated. The frightening truth is that mistakes about your end-of-life instructions are made while you are at your most vulnerable. Dr. Monica Williams-Murphy, medical director of advance-care planning and end-of-life education for Huntsville Hospital Health System in Alabama has said, “Unfortunately, misunderstandings involving documents meant to guide end-of-life decision-making are surprisingly common.”
With the aging population becoming increasingly tech savvy, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has moved a lot of services online. From applying for Social Security benefits to replacing a card, the SSA has online tools to help.
Are payments to third parties subject to Medicaid’s five-year look-back rule? If I purchase item(s) for my child, but make the check out to a third party (i.e., check paid to retailer for appliances, to firm for landscaping services, to roofing company for new roof, etc.), are these also subject to the five-year rule, even if the check is not payable to my child?
For care providers and aging seniors in the information age, the future is now. While still with some challenges, adoption of virtual care as a standard in senior living and aging services has become a fully integrated and accepted practice to overcome obstacles in senior healthcare.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently released new eligibility rules for the VA pension program. VA pension, a tax-free monthly cash benefit, is available to wartime Veterans who served at least 90 days of active duty service with 1 day during a declared period of war. Surviving spouses of wartime Veterans may also qualify for a monthly cash payment. Veterans or surviving spouses who need care on a regular basis are eligible for a higher payment (often referred to as “Aid and Attendance,” payments of which can be over $2,000 per month, depending on marital status and care needs.
Life plan communities, often referred to as continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), are an increasingly popular choice of aging Americans. These communities offer the array of care options necessary as seniors move through the stages of aging that include independent or assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing. Beyond health care CCRCs offer a wide range of services “such as housekeeping, dining options, transportation, fitness and wellness programs, recreational activities as well as social activities and outings for residents.” It is essentially “aging in place” except in a community environment. There are approximately 2,000 CCRCs in the country as compared to about 30,000 assisted living facilities primarily because the price of a CCRC is about $3,000 to $5,000 a month. If you can and are considering joining a CCRC, there are some parameters to consider very carefully.
Congress passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act in 2014. This created tax advantaged accounts for people with disabilities. These accounts grow and are tax free. The money in the accounts can be used for qualifying expenses. Before the passing of the ABLE Act in 2014, if a person with disabilities had more than $2000 in their name, they would lose Medicaid coverage or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). ABLE accounts allow people with disabilities to have more than the $2000 in their name within the guidelines without losing these benefits.
The Social Security Administration has announced a 2.8 percent increase in benefits in 2019, the largest increase since 2012.
My father went into a nursing home in Pennsylvania in December 2005. He immediately applied for Medicaid and had to cash in all his assets. His spouse was allowed to keep all her assets, their home, and one vehicle. In January 2005, my father transferred their home into his spouse's name only. My father lived in a nursing home until his death in April 2018. His spouse is still living in the home. We got a Pennsylvania estate recovery program questionnaire asking my father's spouse to list all of his assets and properties. Does the home have to be reported if the spouse's name is the only name on the deed?
Medigap premiums can vary widely depending on the insurance company, according to a new study, so be sure to shop around before choosing a policy.
If you are a veteran, or if you are caring for one, it is essential to understand the many veterans’ benefits programs available through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Often, financial support is available to a veterans spouse or their survivors as well as the veteran themselves. Even if there has never been a claim made for veteran benefits before based on a veteran’s current age, physical condition, or low income they may now qualify for financial help.
Senior care is being re-envisioned with the advent of artificial intelligence. There is a need to provide an ever-increasing aging population with consistent and competent health aides. In the United States the healthcare industry employs over 4.5 million nursing aides and orderlies and home health aides and personal care aides, and yet it is not enough to address the future needs of the American elderly. New solutions are being developed for animatronic artificial intelligence and the more standard device driven artificial intelligence to meet the demand.
Individuals who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are prone to wandering. This is often caused by the decline in cognitive functioning and symptoms such as restlessness and confusion that are associated with this decline. The more these diseases progress, the more likely it is that the senior will wander. This wandering causes additional stress on family and caregivers. It is important to take measures to keep these individuals safe. There are many ways that caregivers can help to keep seniors with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia safe, as well as national and local Senior Alert programs.