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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

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 . . .


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Older Couples Thinking About Marriage: The Good and Bad


We hear this story often. Your lifelong partner passed away, and you have found someone else with whom to share your life. But in many cases, this new-found love will never result in marriage.

For some, the reason may be financial. In other cases, a decision to forego marriage may be a result of keeping children and grandchildren happy.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Aretha Franklin Prepared No Will or Trust


The news reports came quickly last week after the passing of Aretha Franklin. Her attorney announced she left behind no will or trust.

As a result, within a few days of her passing four sons filed a document in Michigan listing themselves as interested parties in her estate, and a niece asked the court to name her as personal representative of the estate.

Reports have surfaced that Franklin’s estate is worth $80 million. At this point there’s little way of knowing how all of this will turn out.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

New Alzheimer’s Drug May Be a Breakthrough


The number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s and other related dementias continues to grow at a staggering rate, creating an ever-escalating catastrophic situation for our seniors and those who care for them.

While many of us focus on care for our loved ones, scientists continue to look for breakthroughs that might stem the tide of this disease. And a recent announcement may be good news in that regard.

Presented recently at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Chicago, the results of a large clinical trial showed a drug being used was able to both reduce the plaques in the brains of patients and slow the progression of dementia.

People who received the highest dosage of the drug during an 18-month test showed an 81 percent reduction in the plaque buildup found on the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, as well as a 30 percent reduction in the indicators of early Alzheimer’s.
Read more . . .


Monday, August 13, 2018

The Challenges of Caregiving


If you have spent any time as a caregiver, or if you know someone in that role, one thing is certain: the biggest challenges facing caregivers is finding time to take care of themselves.

It’s almost always true that a person is never ready to assume the caregiver role but circumstances thrust it upon them.

In many cases, the caregiver of an older person is a son or daughter. That’s challenging enough. It’s often the case that the younger caregiver has a spouse and children already.
Read more . . .


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