Last month, the U.S. government began issuing new Medicare cards to every Medicare recipient in the country.
The roll-out is happening in phases, going state-by-state, with all new cards expected to be distributed by April of 2019. Residents in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland are among the first getting the new cards.
Continue Reading New Medicare Cards Are Coming. That Means New Medicare Scams
It’s important to understand the medicaid gifting rules. If you are admitted to a nursing home, you will usually want to qualify for Medicaid benefits as soon as possible. However, even if you qualify in all other respects, if you have made a gift within five years of applying for Medicaid, you may not qualify. The PA Department of Human Services will penalize you one month of ineligibility for every $10,043.28 you gave away.
Continue Reading How to Prove that a Gift was not Made to Qualify for Medicaid
What is an elder law attorney?
The dictionary definition of an “elder law attorney” is simple: an advocate for older people, and their loved ones.
But talk to Garrett Gummer, a longtime Bucks County elder law expert, and you’ll get a much more nuanced answer. It’s a role that covers everything from estate planning to will preparation to powers of attorney and healthcare powers of attorney to setting up trusts.
“If your parent or grandparent has to go into a nursing home, we help protect their nest egg,” he says. “There are ways to do that if you properly plan for it.
“If a loved one dies, we help you administer their estate if you’re appointed as the executor. Or if they haven’t done a proper power of attorney, sometimes it’s necessary for us to petition the court to have you or another family member appointed guardian.”
Continue Reading What is an Elder Law Attorney?
Preparing to enter a nursing home can be as confusing as it is stressful.
Garrett Gummer, a veteran elder law attorney handing Medicaid planning in Bucks, PA, says its one of the most misunderstood issues in his field.
Continue Reading Medicaid Assets Protection 101
Signed into law late in 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act slashed the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.
Proponents of the law say it will stimulate the economy and create jobs, but how does it actually affect you? We should also note that everything we describe below will end after 2025, assuming legislators don’t vote to extend the cuts.
Continue Reading How Will the New Tax Law Affect You?
Medicare launched its new Hospice Compare website last year in an effort to help patients find and evaluate hospice providers.
The only problem, medical experts say, is that the site may not be all that helpful.
Medicare covers any reasonable care that helps ease the course of a terminal illness through its comprehensive hospice benefit. In August, the agency launched the new website, aimed at improving transparency and giving patients more access to care.
The site provides information on how hospices handle treatment preferences and patient beliefs and values. It also tells patients how facilities assess and treat things like pain, shortness of breath.
But Hospice Compare, run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) may not be that useful, argue a group of medical professionals in a recent paper published in Health Affairs.
Continue Reading Medicare Launches Hospice Compare Website
After remaining unchanged for five years, the amount you can give away to an individual in a single year without reporting the gift on your taxes has increased in 2018.
Continue Reading 2018 Gift Tax Exclusion: You Can Give Away More Tax Free
When it comes to the 2018 Medicare premium, there’s good news and bad news.
The good news? The standard monthly Part B premium, which is what roughly 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries pay, will stay at 2017’s rate of $134 next year.
Continue Reading Medicare’s Part B Premium Will Be Unchanged in 2018, But Many Will Pay More. Got That?
So, you’ve been named the executor of a will. It’s not a job to take lightly. Dealing with wills in Bucks County – or anywhere else – means managing the administration of a person’s estate after they die.
And while the amount of time you need to commit to this role can vary, administering even a small estate comes with important responsibilities.
Here are a few of the things you’ll be expected to do as the executor of a will.
Continue Reading The Duties of the Executor of a Will
Laws created during the Obama administration to give nursing home residents more control of their care are gradually going into effect. The rules give residents more options regarding meals and visitation as well as making changes to discharge and grievance procedures.
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid finalized the rules in November 2016. These rules are the first comprehensive update to nursing home regulations since 1991. The first group of new rules took effect in November. The rest will be phased in over the next two years.
Some of the new rules include:
Continue Reading New Protections for Nursing Home Residents