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How Does Medicaid Treat Spouses of Nursing Home Residents?

Medicaid is the only public benefit program that pays for long-term nursing home care. Medicare and private health insurance don’t. But in order for Medicaid to pay you’ve got to be broke. Worse yet, if you’re married, your spouse, referred to as a “community spouse” must also be broke – almost. Spouses may keep a

“ABLE” Account -Financial Savings Tool for Special Needs Persons

An ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) account is a must-have savings tool for persons with special needs. It supplements but does not replace needed public benefits while often providing greater flexibility than available under a supplemental needs trust. The maximum amount that can be contributed each year to an ABLE account for a person

How to Avoid Income Tax on Capital Gains

Generally, when you sell an asset, its appreciation in value from its acquisition cost is a “capital gain” that is subject to federal and state income taxation. Conversely, if the asset’s value at the time it is sold is less than what it cost to buy, the owner realizes a “capital loss” that often generates

Retirement Plan Required Minimum Distributions

IRA and other qualified retirement plans offer a unique opportunity for persons to amass, over their working lives, a retirement nest-egg that grows tax-deferred. But upon attaining age 72, an account holder must begin to annually take taxable required minimum distributions (RMDs).  The required beginning date is April 1 of the year after the account

Estate Planning for Cognitive Impairment

Presently, approximately 5.8 million people in the U.S. suffer from dementia, a term used to describe a group of symptoms affecting memory, thinking and social abilities severely enough to interfere with daily life. Various conditions associated with dementia include Alzheimer’s Disease, Vascular Dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, and Frontotemporal Dementia.  Needless to say, receiving such a

Federal Gift & Estate Tax Changes in 2023

Current hyper-inflation brings a silver lining in 2023. The annual gift tax exclusion and gift & estate tax lifetime exclusion are scheduled to increase next year. These are welcome changes for those who want to engage in wealth transfer planning. Gift Tax Annual Exclusion Effective January 1, 2023, the gift tax annual exclusion will increase

What You Need to Know About Medicaid’s Patient-Pay Obligation

Nursing home residents who qualify for Medicaid benefits to pay for their care are obliged to turn over their monthly income, typically Social Security and pension benefits, to the facility where they reside. This is the Medicaid recipient’s “patient-pay” obligation. Medicaid pays the rest. But there are a few exceptions to this patient-pay requirement. One

Resources for Caregivers of Older Adults with Dementia

Every year, 16 million people in the United States care for family and friends with dementia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. Caregivers of people with dementia provide care for longer durations than those who assist individuals with other conditions. They also have comparably higher risks for anxiety, depression, and reduced quality of

Savings for Seniors: Lower Medicare Part B Premiums in 2023

For the first time in more than 10 years, Medicare Part B enrollees will see some of their costs decline. In an announcement issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency outlined changes to the premium, deductible, and co-payment amounts for numerous Medicare costs taking effect in 2023. Medicare Part B

Comparing Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage

Recent research by the Kaiser Family Foundation examined the differences between traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage. While people in either program were similarly satisfied with their care and overall care coordination, some distinctions became apparent. Traditional Medicare’s Strengths Traditional Medicare is a federal health insurance program for adults 65 and older and individuals with disabilities.