News

Watchdog reports reveal problems at the strained, underfunded Social Security Administration

Reports of Social Security’s financial problems appear like clockwork, yet the agency’s enormous operational issues receive little attention. Long before 2034 – the currently projected year in which the program will run short of funds – the agency may cease to effectively serve the older and disabled Americans who depend on it for benefits that often are their only source of funds for housing, food and other necessities of life.

7 Ways to Judge a Retirement Community’s Financial Health

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt has it all figured out. With their three children grown and out of their New Jersey home, she and her husband, William, will move into a full-service retirement community this year. It will be someplace “interesting and affordable,” in her words, and, ideally, dry in the summer. “I don’t like humidity,” she said.

New Federal Law Puts Focus on Preventing Elder Abuse

A new federal law is designed to address the growing problem of elder abuse. The law supports efforts to better understand, prevent, and combat both financial and physical elder abuse.

Long-Term Care Insurer Cannot Be Sued for Elder Financial Abuse

Long-term care insurance policyholders suing Bankers Life and Casualty Company were dealt a blow by the Oregon Supreme Court when it ruled that the state's elder financial abuse statute does not apply to their case.

Tens of thousands of Medicaid recipients don't pay their premiums

When Arkansas lawmakers debated whether to renew the state's Medicaid expansion in 2016, many Republican lawmakers were swayed only if some of the 300,000 adults who gained coverage would have to start paying premiums.

When a Guardian Is Appointed, Is the Spouse's Income Protected?

What happens to the spouse when a guardian is appointed? Specifically, my mother can no longer care for my stepfather. He had a stroke and it has taken a toll on her. If the court appoints a guardian, will the guardian take away my stepfather's income? My mother cannot survive without his income.

Will Trump's budget lower Medicare drug costs? Not for some

Some Medicare beneficiaries would pay more for their prescription drugs under President Donald Trump's budget even as the sickest patients save thousands of dollars, a complex trade-off that may make it harder to sell Congress on the plan in an election year.

Would a Hybrid Insurance Policy Work for Your Client?

When considering options for future long-term care costs, an insurance policy that combines a traditional death benefit with a long-term care feature may be the solution.

11,000 disabled student veterans left without rent and expense money due to computer glitch

Monthly government stipends for 11,000 disabled student veterans are delayed this month, potentially causing the former troops to be late paying rent and other pressing bills.

NAELA Annual Report

With more than 25 years of service to the field of elder and special needs law and its practitioners, NAELA is the premier organization for those seeking information and education on how to improve the practice of law and build their practice.

Estate Planning and Retirement Considerations for Late-in-Life Parents

Older parents are becoming more common, driven in part by changing cultural mores and surrogate motherhood. Comedian and author Steve Martin had his first child at age 67. Singer Billy Joel just welcomed his third daughter. Janet Jackson had a child at age 50. But later-in-life parents have some special estate planning and retirement considerations.

New Ways to Prevent Elder Financial Abuse

By one estimate, older Americans lose up to $30 billion a year to elder financial abuse—the misappropriation of their money by con artists or thieves who are total strangers to them or even trusted friends or family members.

How Much Does It Cost to Ask an Elder Law Attorney a Question?

There is no single answer to your question -- it depends on the lawyer and the question itself. Some lawyers will speak with any prospective client on the phone while others will require that they come in for a meeting. Some charge for an initial meeting and some do not.

Is Money Gifted to Me for Medicaid Planning Purposes Considered My Money?

I have been asked to participate in a "note and gift" Medicaid plan for an aunt who has no other relatives. She is currently eligible for Medicaid and in a nursing home, but she recently inherited a large amount of money. The plan requires me to open a bank account in my name. I would use the account to make a monthly payment on a promissory note and pay the nursing home for the length of the penalty period. How does this account fit into my personal finances?

Home Health Care Patients With Chronic Conditions Are Having Trouble Getting Medicare

Medicare is supposed to provide up to 35 hours a week of home care to those who qualify, but many Medicare patients with chronic conditions are being wrongly denied such care, according to Kaiser Health News. For a variety of reasons, many home health care agencies are simply telling patients they are not covered.

Just How Big a Social Security Hit Do Early Retirees Take?

Getting the most you can from Social Security is an important part of ensuring your financial security after you retire. One goal that many people have is to retire early, and that can create financial challenges that you need to address before you pull the plug on your career once and for all.

Longer lives and special needs trusts

People in our region try to save throughout their lives. The struggle comes when those people who have saved experience long-term care needs, typically nursing home, assisted living or in-home care.

Your estate plan needs an update, even if it is new

Have an old binder with your will and estate plan? Even if you had your paperwork set up a few years ago, all of your documents are now out of date, thanks to tax laws that went into effect in 2018.

Hospitals Nationally Hit Hard By Medicare's Safety Penalties

As the federal government penalizes 751 hospitals for having too many infections and patient injuries, some states are feeling the cuts in Medicare payments more than others.

Costs of Some New Long-Term Care Insurance Policies Going Down in 2018

While long-term care insurance costs are up in general, some policies are going down in 2018, according to the 2018 Long Term Care Insurance Price Index, an annual report from the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance(AALTCI), an industry group.