December 2021

Who Makes Health Care Decisions If You Can’t?

Being able to make health care decisions for ourselves is so important to us, but what happens if you become incapacitated and are unable to voice your opinion?  If you don’t have a health care power of attorney or guardian in place, state law chooses who can make those decisions. In an emergency, medical providers

A Way to Lock in the Current Estate Tax Exemption to Benefit Your Spouse

With the fate of the estate tax exemption uncertain, you may want to use the current large exemption to transfer assets to a trust to benefit your spouse. A spousal lifetime access trust (SLAT) can help transfer assets outside of your estate. The current federal estate tax exemption is $11.7 million for individuals and $23.4

Medicare Premiums to Increase Dramatically in 2022

Medicare premiums are rising sharply next year, cutting into the large Social Security cost-of-living increase. The basic monthly premium will jump 15.5 percent, or $21.60, from $148.50 to $170.10 a month. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the premium and other Medicare cost increases on November 12, 2021. The steep hike is

What It Means to Need ‘Nursing Home Level of Care’ for Medicaid Eligibility

When applying for Medicaid’s long-term care coverage, in addition to the strict income and asset limits, you must meet medical eligibility criteria. This required level of care is referred to as “nursing facility clinically eligible” (NFCE). Whether you are applying for nursing home coverage or through a Medicaid waiver program for coverage at home, you