News

Does Co-Signing a Student Loan Affect Medicaid Eligibility?

My mother co-signed for a student loan. The loan is still active. Due to health issues she is now applying for Medicaid. Will being a co-signer on a loan affect her ability to receive Medicaid? If so, what can be done to remedy the situation?

America is Facing a Family Home Caregiver Shortage

The aging population of the United States is widely reported as the bulk of the baby boomer generation is already retired or nearing retirement. However, what has not been widely reported is how the rest of the nation will provide care for this large, aging population. According to a 2017 Merrill Lynch study, nearly 95% of caregivers are family members. These family members are providing over $500 billion worth of free care annually. For perspective, that’s three times Medicaid’s professional long term care spending. The number of family caregivers is shrinking at a time when the population that needs them is expanding at a rapid rate. In 2020, there will be over 56 million people in the U.S. age 65 and older. In 2010, that number was just 40 million.

Fraud and patient neglect for profit in the American hospice care system

A newly released Inspector General Report from the Department of Health and Human Services exposes the vulnerabilities in the Medicare-funded hospice program. The report consolidates patient and Medicare payment data back to the year 2005 and concludes that some hospice care providers are neglecting patients and defrauding Medicare. The report calls into question the quality of hospice patient care as well as the financial integrity of the program itself.

Helpful Ways to Pay for Assisted Living Costs

Assisted living rent can vary from $2,000 to $5,000 monthly. Depending on what type of care your loved one needs, assisted living can be the most affordable solution when compared to a nursing home ($5,000 to $10,000 or more per month) or long-term in-home care. If closely monitored medical supervision is not necessary for your aging senior, assisted living might be the best financial choice.

Benefits Available to Wartime Veterans

There are many benefits available to wartime veterans, surviving spouses, and children. First let’s discuss who qualifies as a wartime veteran. A wartime veteran is one who served active military duty during one of the eligible wartime periods. They include the Mexican Border Period, World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam Era, and the Gulf War. Eligibility requirements for a wartime veteran are outlined clearly at https://www.benefits.va.gov/pension/vetpen.asp. It is also important to know that a veteran is automatically classified as totally disabled at age 65 or older. It is also important to check income requirements for eligibility which can also be accessed from this webpage.

The Fiduciary Rule. What it is, why it matters, and why the Government will no longer be enforcing it

On March 15, 2018, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the United States Labor Department acted outside of its authority by creating the fiduciary rule and no longer has authority to enforce this Obama-era protection for retirement savers.

Medicare and Medicaid: Unlocking the Mystery

Medicare and Medicaid have long been a mystery to many consumers. In fact, it can baffle and confuse even some of the smartest citizens. Like me, you might have thought, “I don’t need to worry about this right now.” However, it is never too early to gain a little understanding and awareness that just might help you help an aging loved one or yourself down the road. As the saying goes, “Time flies.”, and you will be there sooner than you think. Let’s break it down and learn some of the differences and basics of Medicare and Medicaid to unlock the mystery.

New Law Expands Benefits for Chronically Ill Medicare Advantage Beneficiaries

Congress expanded benefits for Medicare recipients with chronic conditions in its latest budget bill. The law gives some Medicare plans the option of covering certain non-medical benefits and also increases telehealth services.

Medicare Extends Deadline for Relief from Part B Penalties

Medicare is extending its offer of relief from penalties for certain Medicare beneficiaries who enrolled in Medicare Part A and had coverage through the individual marketplace. Beneficiaries who qualify will be able to enroll in Medicare Part B without paying a penalty for late enrollment if they enroll by September 30, 2018.

Lawsuit Alleges Assisted Living Facilities Discriminate Against Wheelchair Users

A lawsuit in New York state highlights an issue with some assisted living facilities: No wheelchairs allowed. The lawsuit claims that state regulations and facility policies discriminate against residents and potential residents who use wheelchairs.

Will Small Gifts Really Disqualify My Mother from Medicaid?

Someone told my mom to stop giving monetary gifts to her family -- even for very small amounts. She wants to be able to give her grandchildren between $25 to $50 for holidays and special events like weddings or graduations. Will amounts that small really disqualify her from Medicaid or cause her to be penalized? What if she buys gift cards or tangible gifts? Will Medicaid really penalize for this as well?

Life After A Dementia Diagnosis

Many elderly people who are diagnosed with dementia are unprepared for future care. Once this type of diagnosis is received, preparing for the future can no longer be avoided. If you or someone you love has received a dementia diagnosis, begin immediately to discuss and seek guidance for future care. For help in implementing the steps that need to be taken and for developing a plan, seek the guidance of an elder law attorney.

Senior Living Trends in 2018 and Beyond

Markets driven by the consumerism of the baby boom generation are changing senior living, and there are more options available than ever before. Medical and technological advancements and a shift to a more customized, individual lifestyle preference are leading the way for seniors to age more securely and comfortably. Senior communities are looking less like institutions and more like homes. Infusing technology with medical support in assisting seniors is a giant step forward in reshaping the way people provide care and when necessary intervention.

Financial Elder Abuse: Awareness and Prevention

Elder financial abuse has been a growing problem of the past decade. The financial exploitation of older or vulnerable adults can take many different forms. This portion of the population can be exploited by strangers of professionals who deal with their assets, and even trusted family members and friends. It is a problem to which a solution has been difficult to find because many exploited people are ashamed that they were able to be taken advantage of and therein do not report the crimes. Unfortunately, this type of abuse not only affects the finances of the victim, but also their mental and physical well-being. Let’s take a look at the types of financial elder abuse and some measures that can be and are being taking to prevent this type of abuse.

Senior Living Trends in 2018 and Beyond

Markets driven by the consumerism of the baby boom generation are changing senior living, and there are more options available than ever before. Medical and technological advancements and a shift to a more customized, individual lifestyle preference are leading the way for seniors to age more securely and comfortably. Senior communities are looking less like institutions and more like homes. Infusing technology with medical support in assisting seniors is a giant step forward in reshaping the way people provide care and when necessary intervention.

Drugging Our Elderly?

What if you found out that your elderly loved one was given a prescription drug not because they medically needed it, but instead to control “unruly” behavior? Are nursing homes drugging our elderly in order to suppress and control residents with dementia? Several recent reports may indicate that the prescription drug Neudexta is being used for such purpose.

Spoon-feeding and Hydration: What are Your Wishes?

By now, many of us have witnessed the slow and dehumanizing death by Alzheimer’s of friends and loved ones. In the final stages of this and other dementia diseases, there comes a time when the person can no longer speak, recognize loved ones, or move purposefully.

Help for Seniors Who Fall Victim to Abuse

In October 2017, President Trump signed into law the Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act. This bill was designed to combat the growing epidemic of the elderly being taken advantage of financially and abused physically. A study conducted by the National Council on Aging indicates that approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60 or older have experienced some form of elder abuse. Although, this number is likely higher according to another study which estimates only 1 in 14 elder abuse cases are reported. Financial abuse is more likely to be reported than emotional or physical abuse. The costs of elder abuse are steep. Elders who are victims of abuse have a 300% higher risk of death when compared to those who have not been abused. Elder financial abuse costs senior citizens an estimated $36.5 billion per year.

4 Effects of Alzheimer’s Disease on Families

Alzheimer’s disease is a disease that not only affects the individual diagnosed but also the individual’s family. Family members can be affected in many ways by Alzheimer’s disease. The most important thing for families to remember during this very difficult season of life is to stick together and to support one another.

Care Options for Adults with Special Needs

There are numerous care options available for adult with special needs. The options available range for those with special needs who are able to be more independent to those who need advanced medical care. It is important to match the person’s needs and desires with the best possible living option or combination of options.