MEDICARE TO PAY FOR MORE SKILLED CARE

More than three years ago, I wrote about a class action lawsuit called Jimmo v. Sebelius, where the government agreed that the “failure to improve” standard should not be the deciding factor in terminating an individual’s Medicare skilled nursing benefit.  When the case was settled in 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) […]

PLANNING FOR A BENEFICIARY WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

When it comes to estate planning there is never a “one-size-fits-all” solution. There are many tools and the estate planner’s job is to determine which one makes sense for each person’s particular circumstances. When that person’s estate plan includes a beneficiary who is disabled, quite often the right tool is a “special needs” trust. Otherwise, […]

SOCIAL SECURITY GETS SMALL BOOST IN 2017

Low inflation might be a plus for the economy in general, but when it comes to Social Security benefits, low inflation means a small “pay” raise. That’s somewhat the case for 2017, as benefits will jump a just 0.3%. Benefit recipients will see the raise beginning with the checks to be issued the first week […]

PAYING FOR NURSING CARE – PROTECTING INCOME

In a related article, I review Medicaid “resource assessment” rules that allow you to protect certain assets when your spouse enters a nursing home. These rules are designed to make sure that the spouse in the community is not rendered penniless by having to deplete all of the couple’s resources to pay for a nursing […]

LIFETIME GIFTS

As the proverb goes, “It is better to give than to receive.” The sage who coined this phrase was no doubt speaking in terms of the good we can do by making gifts. Little did he know that following this same advice can lead to tax-savings as well. However, another wise man instructed us to […]