Monthly Archives

September 2016

Retired and looking for extra income? Embrace Technology Service Opportunities!

By | Uncategorized

Seniors looking for extra income are turning to current phone and computer technology and service opportunities such as UBER and Airbnb.

Many boomers approaching their retirement years are anxious about having enough income. But many are finding help by turning to the so-called “gig economy” – driving for Uber and renting out extra rooms in their homes to earn extra income.

Twenty-four percent of all Uber drivers are over age 50, and 3 percent report being formerly retired. Bloomberg reports that people age 60-plus are the fastest-growing and best-reviewed age group on Airbnb. DogVacay, which connects pet sitters with owners, reports that people over the age of 50 constitute 25 percent of sitters.

Senior Citizen using his phone to earn extra incomeThe JPMorgan Chase Institute reports that seniors earn about 25 percent of their income from working and that this share may rise in the future. It found the percent of seniors in the workforce has been increasing recently, from 20.7 percent in 2009 to 23.1 percent in 2015. The institute anticipates that much of the anticipated rise will come from the gig economy.

Of course, earning income in the gig economy has some downsides. Most of the time, workers are considered contractors and are responsible for paying their own taxes. In addition, the income can be quite unpredictable. However, these drawbacks may be an acceptable trade-off to earning additional spending money to supplement Social Security and other retirement income.

The article by CBS Money Watch explaining this trend can be found HERE.

banner

145 Year Old Man is Longest Living Human

By | Uncategorized

Longest Living Human Says He Is Ready For Death At 145

An Indonesian man who claims to be the longest living human in recorded history has described how he “just wants to die”. Mbah Gotho, from Sragen in central Java, was born on December 31, 1870, according to the date of birth on his identity card. Now officials at the local Oldest Living Manrecord office say they have finally been able to confirm that remarkable date as genuine. If independently co
nfirmed, the findings would make Mr. Gotho a staggering 145 years old – and the longest lived human in recorded history.

But despite his incredible longevity, Mr. Gotho says he has little wish to remain on this earth much longer. Mr. Gotho has outlived all 10 of his siblings, four wives, and even his children. His nearest living relatives are grand children, great grand children, and great-great grandchildren. One of Mr. Gotho’s grandsons said his grandfather has been preparing for his death ever since he was 122.

The full article published on August 16, 2016 by The Telegraph News on Mr. Gotho can be found HERE.

Longest Living Human and long-term care

Though no one could predict a life expectancy of 145 years (assuming it is verified), the point being you never know what life with bring you! What would you do if you were blessed with longevity? How would you live? Who would care for you? Do you have a plan?

Few would ever plan for 145 however a proper plan that addresses needs for today, tomorrow and your 145th birthday can be created and should be discussed with your advisers.

Want to discuss your plan? Contact our office for a no-cost consultation.

MJL Blog Footnote

Union chief: State computer roll-out for public benefits an ‘absolute mess’

By | Uncategorized

Worker assaulted during system launch files grievance seeking more security.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The roll-out this week of the state’s $364 million new public-benefits computer system has been dubbed an “absolute mess” by the president of largest state employees union and “totally unacceptable” by one “shaken” case-worker who was slapped with a sheaf of papers by an irate client in the Providence field office on the day of the roll-out.

Valeria Varrecchione, 66, of Smithfield told the Journal she remains so upset she has been out of work since the assault on Tuesday, and has filed a grievance in hope of convincing the Department of Human Services to provide more security at the field offices where state workers process applications for Food Stamps, cash assistance, subsidized child care and health care.

Source: Union chief: State computer roll-out for public benefits an ‘absolute mess’

Glitch in state’s new computer system affects HealthSource RI customers

By | Uncategorized

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Raimondo administration is acknowledging “some technical issues’ with the state’s new $364-million computer system that is preventing customers of the ObamaCare program — known in Rhode Island as HealthSource RI — from updating their personal information online. “Existing customers may view their online account and make a payment, but they must contact HSRI if they want to report a change such as a new address, change in income, or new member of the

Source: Glitch in state’s new computer system affects HealthSource RI customers

MJL-Blog-Footnote-1

R.I. ends fiscal year with more than expected, thanks to inheritance tax payments

By | Uncategorized

estate-tax-return.ashx_PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Buoyed by an unexpected surge in inheritance tax payments, the state finished the 2015-2016 fiscal year with $28.6 million more revenue than expected and $22.5 million more than the prior year, according to a Department of Revenue report released Wednesday.The better-than-expected revenues were “driven substantially by the receipt of large infrequently occurring estate tax payments of over $52 million in May and June 2016,” said state Revenue Director Robert Hull in the

Source: R.I. ends fiscal year with more than expected, thanks to inheritance tax payments

Retiring? You will spend over $130K on Healthcare!

By | Uncategorized

Retiring Workers Will Need $130,000 Just to Cover Health Care, Study Finds

Retirement-Medical-Bills (1)Today’s 65-year-olds can expect to spend an average of $130,000 on health care after retiring, from premiums to co-payments to eyeglasses, according to new estimates. The average single 65-year-old woman can expect to need $135,000 to spend on health care in retirement, while a man will spend $125,000, according to estimates from Fidelity Investments. (The difference is because the woman is expected to live longer — an additional 22 years, vs. 20 years more for the man.) Every year, Fidelity estimates how much it will cost for today’s average 65-year-olds to cover health care expenses for the rest of their lives if they retire now. For a while, it looked as if health care costs were holding steady, but Fidelity this year says couples need to set aside a record $260,000 for Medicare premiums and all other out-of-pocket medical costs — up 6 percent from last year and 18 percent from 2014.

Prime culprits in accelerating health expenses are prescription drugs, especially high-priced specialty drugs, Fidelity says. And as the economy recovers, retirees are using more health care, driving up costs. Fidelity’s estimates, based on an analysis of Medicare’s claims database and trends in survey data, assume that retirees are eligible for Medicare and try to capture all the costs it doesn’t cover — including premiums, co-payments, and things Medicare doesn’t pay for, such as hearing and vision exams. But the estimates are only averages, and people’s costs can vary widely, according to where they live and how healthy they are.

What are the major expenses for retiring that I must plan for?

As retirement approaches, your life’s expenses don’t go away! They remain and now they must be paid on a fixed income. However, the big bills that I get called about are those possibly catastrophic costs associated with paying for the healthcare of a loved one who must reside inside a medical institution/rehabilitation center/nursing home. Family members are shocked with the reality that their existing health insurance will not cover this expense and that couples are left to finance these expenses out of their life savings.

As noted above, the cost for Medicare insurance is projected to cost a person over $130,000 over the remainder of their lifetime. What if you were to learn that you needed to pay that amount PER YEAR to care for a person in a nursing facility. That would certainly change the landscape of everyone’s financial future.

At Rhode Island Medicaid Planning, we discuss the Medicaid program, the program that if your assets and income are within certain limits will pay for the costs of nursing facilities. We discuss the rules and regulations and allow you to make a decision that works best for you and your loved ones.

Source/more: Bloomberg

banner

Medicare and Skilled Nursing Facility Care

By | Uncategorized

Skilled nursing facility (SNF) care

How often is it covered?

Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) covers skilled nursing care provided in a skilled nursing facility (SNF) under certain conditions for a limited time.

Medicare-covered services include, but aren’t limited to:

*Medicare covers these services if they’re needed to meet your health goal.

Note

Medicare covers swing bed services in certain hospitals and when the hospital or critical access hospital (CAH) has entered into a “swing-bed” agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), under which the facility can “swing” its beds and provide either acute hospital or SNF-level care, as needed. When swing beds are used to furnish SNF-level care, the same coverage and cost-sharing rules apply as though the services were furnished in a SNF.

If you’re in a SNF but must be readmitted to the hospital, there’s no guarantee that a bed will be available for you at the same SNF if you need more skilled care after your hospital stay. Ask the SNF if it will hold a bed for you if you must go back to the hospital. Also, ask if there’s a cost to hold the bed for you.

Medicare-InsuranceWho’s eligible?

People with Medicare are covered if they meet all of these conditions:

Your doctor may order observation services to help decide whether you need to be admitted to the hospital as an inpatient or can be discharged. During the time you’re getting observation services in the hospital, you’re considered an outpatient—you can’t count this time towards the 3-day inpatient hospital stay needed for Medicare to cover your SNF stay. Find out if you’re an inpatient or an outpatient.

Here are some common hospital situations that may affect your SNF coverage:

Situation Is my SNF stay covered?
Example #1 You came to the Emergency Department (ED) and were formally admitted to the hospital with a doctor’s order as an inpatient for 3 days. You were discharged on the 4th day. Yes. You met the 3-day inpatient hospital stay requirement for a covered SNF stay.
Example #2 You came to the ED and spent one day getting observation services. Then, you were formally admitted to the hospital as an inpatient for 2 more days. No. Even though you spent 3 days in the hospital, you were considered an outpatient while getting ED and observation services. These days don’t count toward the 3-day inpatient hospital stay requirement.

Remember, any days you spend in a hospital as an outpatient (before you’re formally admitted as an inpatient based on the doctor’s order) aren’t counted as inpatient days. An inpatient stay begins on the day you’re formally admitted to a hospital with a doctor’s order. That’s your first inpatient day. The day of discharge doesn’t count as an inpatient day.

Note

If you refuse your daily skilled care or therapy, you may lose your Medicare SNF coverage. If your condition won’t allow you to get skilled care (like if you get the flu), you may be able to continue to get Medicare coverage temporarily.

Your costs in Original Medicare

You pay:

  • Days 1–20: $0 for each benefit period.
  • Days 21–100: $161 coinsurance per day of each benefit period.
  • Days 101 and beyond: all costs.
Note

If you stop getting skilled care in the SNF, or leave the SNF altogether, your SNF coverage may be affected depending on how long your break in SNF care lasts.

  • If your break in skilled care lasts more than 30 days, you need a new 3-day hospital stay to qualify for additional SNF care. The new hospital stay doesn’t need to be for the same condition that you were treated for during your previous stay.
  • If your break in skilled care lasts for at least 60 days in a row, this ends your current benefit period and renews your SNF benefits. This means that the maximum coverage available would be up to 100 days of SNF benefits.
Note

Your doctor or other health care provider may recommend you get services more often than Medicare covers. Or, they may recommend services that Medicare doesn’t cover. If this happens, you may have to pay some or all of the costs. It’s important to ask questions so you understand why your doctor is recommending certain services and whether Medicare will pay for them.

MJL-Blog-Footnote-1

New R.I. computer system goes live Tuesday

By | Uncategorized

The $364M computer system will verify eligibility for public-assistance programs, from health coverage to subsidized childcare, cash assistance and the food stamp program known as SNAP.

Source: New R.I. computer system goes live Tuesday

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — After years of hiccups and delays, the state’s biggest-ever IT project goes live on Tuesday at an estimated cost to state and federal taxpayers of $364 million so far, that may swell to $487.4 million by 2018 if the Raimondo administration gets the additional money it is seeking.

Known as UHIP, the “Unified Health Infrastructure Project” was launched four years ago by then-Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s administration to take advantage of federal money available for a new enrollment-and-tracking system for Obamacare enrollees.DHS banner

Then it grew — and grew — to more than triple the initial $110-million cost estimate.

In its current incarnation as a replacement for a hodgepodge of decades-old state computer systems, the new system will encompass a wide array of public-assistance programs, from health coverage to subsidized childcare, cash assistance and the food stamp program now known as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

If all goes well here, the Raimondo administration anticipates the new eligibility system will make “it easier and more convenient for Rhode Islanders to apply for and track their benefits,” make it more likely the state will be able to detect — and stop — waste and fraud, and save enough money to enable the state to recoup its entire UHIP investment “within the next two to three years.”

 

MJL Blog Footnote

R.I. 10th most expensive nursing home costs in the U.S.

By | Uncategorized

Rhode Island has the 10th highest nursing home costs in the nation at an average of $94,170 annually, according to Caregiverlist’s August report.

Caregiverlist Inc., which connects seniors and professional caregivers with eldercare options, said Rhode Island bumped Maine for having the 10th most expensive costs in the country. Rankings were based on the daily prices of shared rooms in nursing homes.

Caregiverlist said that with 87 nursing homes, the average cost for a shared room in a nursing home in Rhode Island is about $258 a day. In comparison, Texas has the lowest annual cost – a shared room there costs $115 a day. Alaska, due to its low population and remote location, has the highest daily cost for a shared room at $751, according to Caregiverlist spokeswoman, Julie Northcutt.RI Nursing Home Costs

Rhode Island’s average daily shared room cost also is lower than that of Connecticut and Massachusetts, where average daily costs of semi-private rooms total $321 and $289, respectively.

A private room in Rhode Island averages $263 a day. Hawaii has the highest costs for a private room at $488 a day, followed by the District of Columbia at $371 and Connecticut, $351. The least expensive daily cost for a private room is in Missouri at $145.

Caregiverlist said the Rhode Island nursing home with the highest overall Caregiverlist star rating is the privately-owned, 122-bed Briarcliffe Manor in Johnston, which received 4.6 out of 5 stars. Caregiverlist said five is the best rating for a nursing home, while one is the worst.

It said the cost of rooms at Briarcliffe are slightly higher than the average Rhode Island nursing home at $325 and $300, for single and double rooms, respectively, but are not the costliest in the state.

This story was written by Lori Stabile and published by the Providence Business News on August 9, 2016 www.pbn.com.

Concerned with protecting your life savings from the high costs of nursing homes in Rhode Island?

Learn about the options available. Contact our office for a no-cost consultation to discuss what steps you must take now before it is too late.

Free Consultation

NJ: Medicaid Planning Must Be Done By Lawyers

By | News, Uncategorized

Joining the states of Florida, Ohio, and Tennessee, the New Jersey Supreme Court has found that non-lawyers who apply the law to a Medicaid applicant’s specific circumstances are engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.

The state Supreme Court had received complaints that non-lawyers retained by families or nursing homes to assist with the Medicaid application process were providing erroneous or incomplete law-related advice, and a state attorney ethics hotline had received reports that non-lawyers have charged “clients” large sums of money for faulty Medicaid-planning legal assistance, causing the elderly victims significant financial loss.Lawyers

Asked by the state Supreme Court for an opinion specifying what activities non-lawyers may engage in and what activities are the unauthorized practice of law, the Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law has concluded that while non-lawyer Medicaid advisors may provide limited services, “[a]pplying the law to an individual’s specific circumstances generally is the ‘practice of law.’

A Medicaid advisor or Application Assistor may provide information on insurance programs and coverage options; help individuals complete the application or renewal; help them with gathering and providing required documentation; assist in counting income and assets; submit the application to the agency; and assist with communication between the agency and the individual. But the advisor may not provide legal advice on strategies to become eligible for Medicaid benefits, including advice on spending down resources, tax implications, guardianships, sale or transfer of assets, creation of trusts or service contracts, and the like.”

For the Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law’s Opinion 53, “Non-Lawyer Medicaid Advisors (Including ‘Application Assistors’) and the Unauthorized Practice of Law,” courtesy of New Jersey elder law attorney Donald D. Vanarelli, go to: Vanarellilaw.com

Rhode Island has not addressed this issue of Medicaid Planning and assisting with Medicaid applications as being activities that constitute legal advice and thus only to be dispensed by licensed attorneys. People are on notice that use of non-attorney’s for this planning is a risk that each person should weigh before embarking on planning with non-attorneys.

 

Free Consultation