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5 pitfalls to avoid when planning for Medicaid eligibility

When exploring your parents’ eligibility for Medicaid, it’s important not to overlook any rules that may disqualify them from coverage. Again, many states have a “look back” policy which could result in penalty periods or disqualification, and missing this important piece of information could be detrimental.

For those that have already started the process of applying for Medicaid, there are many pitfalls you can avoid. While not an exhaustive list, below are some of the most commonly made mistakes families encounter when trying to meet Medicaid’s income and asset qualifications.

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National Sandwich Generation Month: Determine How You Will Pay for Long-Term Care Services

Wait… Doesn’t Medicare or Private Health Insurance Pay for Everything?

According to longtermcare.gov, the average cost of long-term care is $6,000 per month for a nursing home room (semiprivate) and $3,500 per month for assisted living. Care.com puts the cost of home health aides between $19-$30 per hour—and that’s not counting additional medical equipment and services, which often cost families more than $30,000 per year!

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Have “The Talk” NOW with Your Parents About Their Healthcare & Long-Term Care Wishes

Have you ever felt “sandwiched” between the pressures of caring for an older parent and raising your own family? If so, you are part of a unique group of people known as the “Sandwich Generation.”  These are adults who are juggling the roles of caring for their own families (including minor children) and aging parents at the same time.

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New Medicare cards hitting mailboxes for Hoosiers soon

In an effort to minimize identity theft for the more than 60 million people enrolled in Medicare, redesigned Medicare cards started going out in the mail in April. Some of the new security features include a new 11-character identity number in place of the holder’s Social Security number and cards no longer display the person’s gender or their signature. The card is also smaller making it easier to slide into a person’s wallet.

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April Grunden
UPDATE: Waiver slots re-opened after review of FSSA fiscal resources

Officials with Aging & In-Home Services of Northeast Indian have confirmed that waiver spots are now available. The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, also known as FSSA, has determined that the Division of Aging is in a position to continue waiver services. Aging & In Home was instructed to not place any new individuals on a wait list with regards to aged and disabled waivers. According to Aging & In Home of Northeast Indiana, those currently on the wait list will be "targeted promptly."

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April Grunden
Funeral trusts coming under fire with Medicaid officials

A Medicaid Planning strategy aimed at helping individuals plan their funerals could be coming under more scrutiny.  In a recent conference attended by Grunden Law Office team members, industry leaders pointed to a growing popularity where funeral trusts, when used to spend-down assets as part of becoming Medicaid eligible, are coming under fire, mainly the nuances within the trust.

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April Grunden
Medicaid could be increasing efforts to collect repayment from estates

Families are often relieved to know that Medicaid Planning may offer options to help cover the cost of a nursing home stay or long-term care for a loved one. But what happens when that loved one passes away? Planning can allow for some assets and resources to be protected from being spent on long-term care, however, in the end, a lien could be placed on some of those assets in order to help Medicaid recover some of the cost incurred. 

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April Grunden
Questions you should be asking to create a better relationship with an Elder Law attorney

As the senior community grows in number, the laws and regulations surrounding the legal issues impacting this demographic are getting more complex. That's why National Elder Law Month is important. The entire month of May is devoted to educating seniors and their families on the broad understanding of the laws that may have an impact on a give situation. Beyond just gathering information, this month's focus can equip you and your family with valuable insight that can help you avoid future problems.   

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April Grunden
May is National Elder Law Month

Since May is National Elder Law Month, it's the perfect time to offer some great information on what exactly Elder Law attorneys do and how it impacts you and those you love.

Elder law and special needs planning is a holistic, multidisciplinary practice that concentrates on representation, legal counseling, and assistance to seniors, people with disabilities, and their families in connection with a variety of legal issues, from estate planning to long-term care issues, with an emphasis on promoting the highest quality of life for the individual. The person-centered approach considers legal, medical, financial, social, and family issues.

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April GrundenComment