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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Halfway Through Medicare Open Enrollment Period


We’re about at the midpoint of the Medicare Open Enrollment period which started Oct. 15 and runs until Dec. 7. If you are eligible for Medicare, and you have not acted yet, the time to take action is now. This is the annual period when you can make adjustments to your Medicare health and drug plans.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

A New Phone Scam


Scams against our seniors is an ongoing problem. And it seems that as soon as a scam is discovered and publicized, those perpetuating the scams find a new way to victimize our elder population – whether it is by phone, Internet or from another source.

There's a new phone scam targeting Social Security beneficiaries that advocates for older adults should be aware of. The Federal Trade Commission is warning that scammers are engaging in a caller ID trick called "spoofing" to make it appear that they are calling from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Justice in Aging, a national non-profit legal advocacy organization that fights senior poverty, recently reported on the latest of these scams.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Retirees Switching From 401(k)s to IRAs for Their Nest Egg


For the longest time, the source most people have used for their retirement next egg has been the 401(k), but that trend seems to be changing.

With the driving force behind this change being older Americans, it is becoming more and more common for IRAs to be used for this purpose.

In the five years ended in 2017, 96 percent of the $2 trillion in IRA contributions came from rollovers, according to a recent study. And between the end of last year and 2022, the money invested in IRAs is expected to grow at a significantly quicker pace than 401(k)s. IRA assets are expected to jump 37 percent to $12.
Read more . . .


Monday, October 22, 2018

Small Increases Expected in Medicare Part B Premiums for Most People


 

For the vast majority of recipients, there’s good news when it comes to Medicare Part B premiums for 2019.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced recently that Medicare Part B premiums will see a modest increase only, with the base premium for the majority of individuals going up from $134 to $135.50 a month. But even with no change, millions of Social Security recipients will pay sharply higher Part B premiums that will eat up all or most of next year’s two-percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security that was announced a day earlier by the Social Security Administration.

However, for high earners the news is even worse.
Read more . . .


Monday, October 15, 2018

Medicare Open Enrollment Period Starts Today


 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reminds us that the annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period starts today (Oct. 15) and runs through Dec. 7.

Medicare health and drug plans can make changes each year – things like cost, coverage and what providers and pharmacies are in their networks. Oct.
Read more . . .


Monday, October 8, 2018

The Financial Costs of Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s


If you are caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s, you already know the emotional toll for such a task. And of course, there are the financial costs that continue to increase at an alarming rate, according to a new report.

A recently released study from the University of Pennsylvania determined that the day-to-day costs of caring for a family member or loved one with Alzheimer’s ranges from $144,000 to $200,000 over a two-year period.

This article, recently published in HealthDay, provides a detailed explanation of the staggering financial burden falling on families caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s.

Almost $200,000 over the course of two years.
Read more . . .


Monday, October 1, 2018

Changes Coming for VA Benefits: Here’s What You Need to Know


The Department of Veterans Affairs published a final version of new rules last week related to the Aid and Attendance benefit.

Among other things, the amended regulations establish new requirements that will be used to gauge net worth and asset transfers for pensions. The regulations also determine what medical expenses can be taken from countable income for VA's needs-based benefit programs.

Additionally, the amendments confirm statutory changes for pension beneficiaries who receive Medicaid-covered nursing home care; statutory income exclusion for disabled veterans; and longstanding statutory income exclusions for all VA needs-based benefits.

To see the complete report from the VA in the Federal Register, clickRead more . . .


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Risks with Transferring Home Ownership to Children


We are often asked about the feasibility of transferring home ownership from older parents to their children. The answer to that question is not a simple one and is different for each family.

While it certainly may help if you want to avoid probate, there are risks and potential problems. So this decision should not be made without careful consideration and the input of an attorney who understands estate planning issues.

The first and most obvious consideration is what to do if there are multiple children.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Medicare Advantage Program Changes


The Center for Medicare Advocacy (CMS) recently issued a special report summarizing a number of changes made to Medicare law, regulations and guidance during the first half of this year. For the most part, these changes loosen some of the rules regarding Medicare Advantage.

As a result of these changes, Medicare Advantage plans now have more ability to tailor their supplemental benefits to the unique needs of their patients.

One example of the change is that the law requires that Medicare Advantage plans provide uniform benefits at a uniform premium to all enrollees in a specific plan. Previously, CMS interpreted the law to include uniform cost-sharing.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Get a Head Start on 2019's Medicare Open Enrollment


This article comes from The Motley Fool and serves as a great reminder for all of us.

Most Americans turn to Medicare after their 65th birthdays to give them the assistance they need to cover their healthcare expenses. With estimates of total lifetime medical costs for retired couples soaring toward the $300,000 mark, you can't afford not to make the most of the Medicare benefits to which you're entitled.

Every year, Medicare gives its participants the chance to make key changes to their coverage during the annual open enrollment period. With a start date of Oct.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

New Medicare Cards


New Medicare cards started going out recently. Some of you may have already received yours.

A safety feature of the new cards is that they will not have your Social Security number. Instead, you will now have a unique Medicare Beneficiary Number.

While the new cards were developed in part to deter identity theft and fraud, the scammers are out there trying to take advantage of the change.
Read more . . .


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