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The Financial Cost of Medicaid

medica-150x150During the past twenty years, the medicaid expenses faced by every state in the country has been staggering. As more Americans lose their jobs, they turn to medicaid for basic medical treatment.

In New York State, more than 4.5 million residents are covered by medicaid. It is projected that more than $52 million will be spent by the state on medicaid this year.

President Obama’s -healthcare reform law will increase medicaid enrollments in the year 2014.

If New York and other states are going to survive, they must find a way to reduce their medicaid expenditures. New York Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch has recognized the need for a comprehensive strategy to deal with the cost of long term care for New York residents. Mr. Ravitch points out that long term care accounts for almost 50% of all medicaid spending in the state of New York.

Mr. Ravitch has suggested that New State establish an “innovation center to develop new ways to deliver and pay for healthcare, increase support for preventive care and reform medical malpractice”.

Mr. Ravitch has requested that the state’s political leaders change the medicaid financing formulas that exist in New York. Mr. Ravitch is right. Medicaid is bankrupting the state of New York as well as many other states. A detailed study must be immediately undertaken to determine what methodology needs to be used to reduce medicaid expenditures throughout the United States. Individuals need to be personally responsible for their long term medical care. In our society individuals should have appropriate medical treatment available to them; however, this medical treatment and long term care must not be at an unlimited cost!

In the event you have elder care issues involving wills, trusts, medicaid eligibility, probate or contested wills and estates. Contact the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo at 1-800-344-6431, or by email. We can help you!

Caring For An Elderly Parent

elderlycare2-150x150Americans today are living longer than prior generations. As individuals grow older, their needs may increase. Long-term care often involves children caring for their elderly parents. Children who have careers and/or families of their own may find it difficult to help care for their parents as they grow older and infirm.

Healthcare Aids and “Live-ins”:

The best way to handle these matters is to encourage your family member to become involved in his or her own long term planning. Individuals want to maintain their independence. There are times when a senior family member will reject your help. If your family member needs day-to-day assistance, a live-in companion may be a good route to take. Paying for healthcare can be expensive. A Medicaid application may need to be submitted to see if your family member qualifies for Medicaid benefits.

End-of-Life Issues:

You should discuss a variety of end-of-life issues with your elderly family members. You should ask them whether they have a will, and if they don’t, suggest that they write a will. Discuss the need for a power of attorney should they become unable to handle their financial affairs.

A healthcare proxy or a living will may also be helpful to determine medical treatment issues should a loved one become mentally incapacitated.

Asset Issues:

You should discuss where your family member maintains his or her important information and documents. If password protected software is used, you should have access to those passwords if needed. Should your family member have bank accounts, safe deposit boxes, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds or life insurance, you should discuss where these assets are located.

Helping the elderly may be difficult, but it can also be very rewarding. Your parents brought you into this world and helped you to grow and develop. Children should help their parents and other family members.

Should you have any questions regarding helping a senior citizen or senior issues, feel free to call the elder law attorneys at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo, at 1-800-344-6431 or by email.

Paying for Nursing Home Care

assisted_living_250x251It is impossible to predict whether a family member will require long term nursing home care but one thing is certain. Medicare will not pay the cost of long term nursing home care.

Alternative methods of paying for nursing home care may involve long term care insurance, paying out of your pocket, or qualifying for Medicaid.

In the event you seek to purchase long term care insurance, it is important you get the following benefits:

1. Home care coverage.

2. An inflation rider.

3. Make sure to obtain at least 3 years of coverage.

If you seek to qualify for Medicaid, you should take the following into consideration:

1. You can only have about $2,000 in assets.

2. Your home doesn’t count in qualifying for Medicaid but Medicaid can place a lien on your home to cover its expenses.

3. If you have a spouse, he or she is entitled to retain up to about $95,000 in assets.

4. The individual in the nursing home has to give up all income except for $60 per month for a personal allowance, the cost of health insurance premiums and an allowance for minor children or his or her spouse.?

5. Under certain circumstances the stay at home spouse is entitled to a share of the nursing home spouse’s income.

6. The state can go after the Medicaid recipients estate upon his or her death.

7. The Medicaid application process is difficult, complicated and time consuming.

In the event that you need assistance with Medicaid planning to help preserve your assets in the event of a future Medicaid application or with an actual Medicaid application, you can e-mail us or call at 800-344-6431

Long Term Care Hospitals – A Capitalist Solution

long-term-careDuring the past quarter of a century there have been over 400 long term care hospitals built in the United States. These hospitals do not provide acute care for specific illnesses. They are, generally speaking, holding facilities for individuals who are too sick for nursing homes but not sick enough for regular hospitals.

Patients often stay for many weeks or months in these facilities. Many of these patients are senior citizens. Long term care hospitals have a much higher rate of bed sores and infections among their patients than regular hospitals. They are also more profitable than regular hospitals. They generally do not do surgery in the long term care facilities or handle medical emergencies. Patients needing these services are transferred to general hospitals.

A large portion of the bills paid for the treatment at long term care hospitals are paid by Medicare. For profit, long term care hospitals often spend less money on patients and have higher profit margins than regular hospitals.

Inspections in the past 3 years in long term care hospitals have found increasing levels of violations of healthcare standards. Many long term care hospitals do not maintain staff physicians on a 24 hour basis. If you have a friend or loved one in along term care facility, you should monitor their treatment to see to it that they are provided with an appropriate level of medical care.

Should you have any problems regarding a hospital stay or a stay at a long term care facility, feel free to contact the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo at 1-800-344-6431 or email us at schlissel.law@att.net.

Elliot Schlissel, Esq.

Picture courtesy of life123.com.

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