Articles Posted in Medicaid & Medicare

AdobeStock_141959265-300x200There are few planning tasks more daunting than applying for Medicaid. The process is intimidating and can quickly become overwhelming, not merely because it’s complicated but also because it opens up a Pandora’s Box of legally nuanced questions and concerns.

This is not a task anyone can afford to botch, and it’s something that you have to get right on the first try.

Because of the challenges, most people seek help navigating the Medicaid labyrinth. While there are many reputable Connecticut elder law attorneys who assist with Medicaid applications and asset protection planning, there is also a dangerous new breed of “senior planning” providers that is preying on elderly nursing home residents, often reducing them to financial ruin. 

AdobeStock_158377229-300x200No one looks forward to applying for Medicaid. It’s a complex and grueling process, the rules are always changing, and there are so many things that can go wrong.

Unfortunately, as is often the case, there are companies that are only too willing to take advantage of this situation. These companies claim to be able to process your Medicaid application at a low cost.  But these non-attorneys may cause their customers great harm – putting Medicaid applicants at risk for a number of serious issues including denial of eligibility, severe tax liability, loss of spousal assets and other situations that may threaten the client’s life savings and other assets.

Often it is the nursing home that refers Medicaid applicants to these companies, so there is the very real possibility of a conflict of interest.

AdobeStock_37660525-300x269Last month the Connecticut Supreme Court handed down a favorable decision in a case argued by attorney Carmine Perri of Czepiga Daly Pope & Perri.

Why this matters

For married couples who intend to apply for Medicaid for one of the spouses, it is now possible to protect as much of the ill spouse’s income as is necessary for the healthy spouse to remain safely in the community , even if it exceeds the Medicaid cap.

Dollarphotoclub_88177383-300x300By Colleen E. Masse

As everyone knows, Connecticut had quite a year with its budget.

If you qualify for one of the Medicare Savings Programs – Qualified Medicare Beneficiary, Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary, or Additional Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary – this budget will affect you.

AdobeStock_79789853-300x199While the American Healthcare Act or ACA (also known as Obamacare) has so far escaped the repeal-and-replace hatchet, the debate over how to restructure healthcare in this country is far from over.

One of the most controversial elements of that debate is Medicaid. Despite the broad news coverage on this topic, there is still a great deal of misunderstanding about what Medicaid is, who uses it, and how it’s spent.

Not just for the unemployed and the poor

AdobeStock_100981959-300x200By Lara Schneider Bomzer

Governor Malloy has revealed his new budget plan to reduce a deficit close to $1.7 billion.  The plan includes cuts designed to freeze the number of recipients of who may be eligible for the “Category 2” Connecticut Home Care Program for the Elders.  These are recipients who need care at home, but whose asset levels exceed Medicaid eligibility requirements.

Under the Governor’s plan, the current 2,500 slots would be frozen by June 30th.  If anyone were to leave the program after that, then a new person could enroll. Continue reading

AdobeStock_100520783-300x200By Brendan F. Daly

Clients frequently ask me what effect repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have on Medicaid. The answer depends on which version you read (the two leading contenders: House Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan or Health and Human Secretary Tom Price’s).

Most of the proposals have one element in common: a conversion to Medicaid block grants.

What does this mean?

Continue reading

 

Choice Wooden Letterpress ThemeFinally. A shift is afoot toward person-centered care .

Until recently, there was a Catch 22 when it came to getting care in the community. If you are 65 years of age or older, the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders is available. But for younger people with complex care needs, the options in Connecticut have been limited.

The PCA (Personal Care Assistance) Medicaid Waiver is available, for example, but primarily serves individuals with limited needs and certain conditions. Additionally, the program has a cap on the number of slots available, and a long waiting list. Other waiver programs are also limited. Continue reading

medicaid claimBy Lara Schneider-Bomzer

A new Connecticut Supreme Court decision, Pikula v. Department of Social Services, establishes clear guidelines for determining if a trust should be considered a “supplemental needs trust” or a “general support trust.”

In general, assets held in a supplemental needs trust are considered unavailable in determining Medicaid eligibility for the trust beneficiary. Continue reading

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