Massachusetts will ask Medicaid patients about quality of care

In 2018, MassHealth care providers were organized into 17 accountable care organizations (networks of doctors and hospitals). Beginning this month, 250,000 Medicaid recipients will be asked questions about the quality of their care by their Medicaid providers. Massachusetts plans to release the survey results in 2020. Follow our link to the Boston Globe article which explains the process in more detail: Read More. Massachusetts will ask Medicaid patients about quality of care By Liz Kowalczyk | Boston Globe Privately insured patients have been asked to rate their medical providers for years. Now, for the first time, Massachusetts is seeking the Continue Reading

The Junk Removers Manhandle My Heart

Grief and catharsis can take surprising forms. I hadn’t expected a sofa to play such a starring role in mine but the murder of Miss Bee [nickname giving to sofa] had provided a powerful – and beneficial – release.” Follow our link to the NYT Modern Love column by Mike Rucker to read how he was affected by giving away the sofa bought with his deceased partner. Read More. Meandering through grief, a man tries to replace his sofa. It doesn’t go well. By Mike Rucker | The New York Times John and I bought the sofa together when he moved into Continue Reading

Enrolling in Medicare can be confusing. Here’s how to do it.

If you are turning 65 soon, you are eligible to enroll for Medicare, the federal health insurance program. Medicare has four parts – A pays for in-patient hospital care, skilled nursing an home health care; B covers outpatient medical services, C offers a range of Medicare Advantage plans which gives hospital and medical insurance and other benefits like medicines, eyeglasses and dental.; D is for prescription medicines. Enrolling can be confusing with all the different deadlines and options. Follow our link to the Boston Globe article which explains the process in more detail: Read More. Enrolling in Medicare can be Continue Reading

Why Giving Your House to Your Children Isn’t the Best Way to Protect It From Medicaid

You may be afraid of losing your home if you have to enter a nursing home and apply for Medicaid. While this fear is well-founded, transferring the home to your children is usually not the best way to protect it. Although you generally do not have to sell your home in order to qualify for Medicaid coverage of nursing home care, the state could file a claim against the house after you die. If you get help from Medicaid to pay for the nursing home, the state must attempt to recoup from your estate whatever benefits it paid for your care. Continue Reading

Why You Should Use a Lawyer for Medicaid Planning

Many seniors and their families don’t use a lawyer to plan for long-term care or Medicaid, often because they’re afraid of the cost. But an attorney can help you save money in the long run as well as make sure you are getting the best care for your loved one. Instead of taking steps based on what you’ve heard from others, doing nothing, or enlisting a non-lawyer referred by a nursing home, you can hire an elder law attorney. Here are a few reasons why you should at least consider this option: No conflict of interest. When nursing homes refer Continue Reading

How will possible cuts to Medicaid affect you?

How will possible cuts to Medicaid affect you? It depends on which state you live in as different states have different budgets for Medicaid especially as their coverage of home-based and community-based care for older adults. What experts agree on is that states will compensate additional cuts in services if the proposed Federal cuts pass Congress. Follow our link to read the entire NYT article. Plan on Growing Old? Then the Medicaid Debate Affects You By Ron Lieber | New York Times These are the stories we tell ourselves: I will never be poor. I will never be disabled. My Continue Reading

How Changes to the American Healthcare Act Will Affect Medicaid

Proposed republican changes to the American Healthcare Act would modify changes in the health care system brought by the ACA and would also permanently restructure Medicaid, America’s largest government health care program. Medicaid pays for the long term care costs of 2/3 of nursing home residents, many middle-class Americans who spent all of their savings on care before becoming eligible for Medicaid. The proposed American Health Care Act would try to reduce the federal share of Medicaid spending by limiting how much the federal government would pay for each person enrolled in Medicaid. The results would be major reductions in Continue Reading

Medicaid Covers 1.4 Million People in Nursing Homes

A combination of longer life spans and spiraling health care costs has left an estimated 64 percent of Americans in nursing homes dependent on Medicaid. Medicaid covers 20% of all Americans, 40% of poor adults and most of the 1.4 million people in nursing homes. On June 22,2017, Senate Republicans proposed steep cuts to Medicaid. Under federal law, state Medicaid programs are required to pay for nursing home care but cuts at the federal level could result in states decreasing the amount they are willing to pay or restrict eligibility for coverage. To read the complete NYT article, follow our Continue Reading

Two-thirds of Medicaid spending is dedicated to older or disabled adults

Medicaid is the largest safety net in the United States for low-income people; it accounts for 1/6 of all health care spending in the United States. Two-thirds of Medicaid spending is dedicated to older or disabled adults – this is mostly dedicated to paying for long-term care services like nursing homes. If the cuts to the American Health Care Act proposed by Congress pass in the Senate, it would cut Medicaid by over $800 billion, the largest single reduction in a social insurance program in the history of the United States. For more information about how these proposed Medicaid cuts Continue Reading

The Use of Immediate Annuities in Medicaid Planning for Married Couples

Immediate annuities can be a useful tool to protect the spouse of a nursing home resident who applies for Medicaid. These types of annuities allow the nursing home resident to spend down assets and give the spouse a guaranteed income. But immediate annuities may not work in every state, so be sure to check with your attorney. Medicaid is the primary source of payment for long-term care services in the United States. To qualify for Medicaid, a nursing home resident must become impoverished under Medicaid’s complicated asset rules. In most states, this means the applicant can have only $2,000 in Continue Reading