Articles Posted in Medicaid & Medicare

Worried womanIf you want Medicaid in Connecticut to pay for your long-term care, one thing you should NOT do is give away your assets – unless you think you won’t need Medicaid within the next five years.

When you apply for Medicaid for long-term care in either a nursing facility or in your home, you are required to provide financial records for the past five years. This is called the “look back” period. Continue reading

Medicare-300x169While Medicare does not pay for long-term care, it will cover up to 100 days of care in a skilled nursing facility (SNF). There are, however, some fairly stringent and somewhat confusing qualifications patients must meet before Medicare will extend this benefit. Unfortunately, because there is some nuance to the rules, many patients find themselves having to pay for SNF care they assumed would be covered.

To help you navigate the ins and outs of Medicare’s SNF benefit, we put together a quick cheat sheet that explains the basics and a few of the details that are not always so obvious.

The Basic Requirements: Hospital Stays, Observation, and Skilled Care

Safe and moneyBy Lara Schneider-Bomzer

Purchasing annuities is a good way for married couples to protect assets, but doing it wrong could mean huge penalties. Here is what you need to know about annuities as it relates to Medicaid planning in Connecticut:

If your spouse is residing in a nursing home or is in need of home care, chances are you’ve read our blogs about the ways to protect your assets and qualify your spouse for Medicaid benefits. But not all strategies apply to all couples.

Just as a refresher, under the Medicaid rules, the Institutionalized Spouse (IS) may only have a maximum of $1,600 in assets in his name.  The Community Spouse (CS) may have a house, a car and up to half of a maximum of $130,380, called the Community Spouse Protected Amount (CSPA).  While there are income requirements for the IS, the CS may have as much income as she receives with no limit.

Continue reading

Ask-the-question-300x200Many a well-intentioned family member has taken on the responsibility of caring for an aging parent only to realize that they’ve committed to more than they can handle on their own.

And many more people will need to step into a caregiver role in the coming years.

The U.S. Census Bureau projects that the population of people 65 and older will grow by approximately 50% over the next 30 years!

Mature Couple Calculating Coin In The PiggybankIf you haven’t heard of the Medicare Savings Program, today may be your lucky day. You could save thousands of dollars a year on medical costs courtesy of the State of Connecticut and Medicaid.

The Medicare Savings Program covers

  • out-of-pocket expenses for premiums,
  • deductibles
  • co-pays
  • and subsidizes your prescriptions drug costs if you are an eligible Medicare beneficiary.

Do you meet the criteria?  Continue reading

StethoscopeMoneyA federal court ruled that hospitals may retain a patient in their building under “observation status” rather than formally admitting them, and that such “observation status” does not count as a hospital stay for nursing home Medicare qualification purposes.

Medicare (not to be confused with Medicaid or Title 19) provides a limited nursing home benefit. If a nursing home resident spends three nights in a hospital and then is discharged to a nursing home for some type of rehabilitation services, the nursing home resident is entitled to Medicare benefits at the nursing home for up to 100 days. Medicare will pay the entire bill for the first 20 days and, for the next 80 days, Medicare will continue to pay a portion of the bill and the nursing home resident must pay a portion. In 2021, the nursing home resident must pay $185.50/day and Medicare pays the balance (many nursing home residents have a Medicare supplemental insurance policy to cover the $185.50/day). The Medicare benefit can save a nursing home resident tens of thousands of dollars.

So what does “observation status” have to do with all of this?

Under Medicare regulations for hospitals, if a hospital admits a patient and Continue reading

AdobeStock_86658626-300x190Few crises are more stressful than those related to health and long-term care. It is hard enough to navigate these complex issues during the best of times. In a world full of uncertainty, they become even more stressful and urgent.

As we all wrestle with the day-to-day reality of COVID-19, the already daunting task of figuring out how to sustainably support necessary home care, medical services, nursing home costs, and other critical expenses quickly becomes overwhelming.

And the situation is exponentially worse if you’ve waited until you’re in crisis to address the important questions of how to pay for critical services, protect your assets, and ensure your comfort, security, and quality of life.

Brendan-mug-shot-e1595015692932-281x300By Brendan Daly

As an elder law attorney, I’ve been advocating for my senior clients for twenty years, but I recently discovered that my 78-year-old dad still has a few things to teach me.

It was a lesson I maybe should have seen coming.

home-sign-300x200“Promise me you won’t ever put me in a nursing home.” Our parents would make us sign in blood if they could.

Fear of losing their independence and way of life is a tremendous concern among Connecticut seniors. And, in today’s COVID-19 environment – knowing how the virus can easily spread throughout a nursing home and to its vulnerable population – staying at home is a preferable option for many.

But if you’re like so many Connecticut residents, you may not know that there is Medicaid coverage for receiving care at home – that Medicaid benefits are not just for nursing home residents. This is great news!

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. 

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