Showing posts with label Medicaid. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Medicaid. Show all posts

Sunday, August 31, 2014

6 Things You Might Not Think To Save Up For As You Get Up There In Years

There are numerous things you can do in preparation for your later years. Here are some important steps you should take as you approach your senior years in life. Here are five things you’ll be glad you saved up for when you start to get older.

Higher emergency fund

An emergency fund for someone in their 20s is much more for someone approaching retirement. Health care becomes more expensive as do common household repairs. Boosting your emergency funds to a higher level may be a good idea as you access your legal, health and homeownership needs.

Medical costs

Medical costs are additional expenses you must consider in aging. Many mistakenly believe that all of their insurance policies will cover care as they approach their later years. With the average life expectancy increasing, one has to be assured that there are ample funds to cover hospitalization, coinsurance and long term care if needed. This will prevent you from putting an unnecessary burden on your loved ones as you get older. People who had Medicare paid $38,688 for care during the last five years of their life, the National Institute on Aging suggests.

Dental Costs

After decades of chewing, drinking, maybe even smoking etc… your teeth are bound to get a little worn down. Some more than others obviously, but the proper care as far as brushing and flossing are always a good idea. Even with the proper care though, dental costs could add up in hurry if you’re frequenting the tooth doctor. Some of these costs could be as simple as a co-pay if you have dental coverage for a simple cleaning. Sometimes though, as you get older, getting more than a simple teeth cleaning done can become common. Dr. Peter Wong does dentures up in Surrey in Canada. More often than not, dentures end up being for those who are getting up there in years. Saving up for stuff like this when you’re younger is good idea. 


Homeownership is something many people don’t consider. When the children leave the home, the retired couple may want to downsize. This may mean taking out another mortgage on the home. Since the home should ideally be paid off prior to retirement, once should plan for closing costs, remodeling, moving and other expenses most often associated with moving into a newer, smaller home. This can be especially important if a person is planning to take out a 15-year mortgage. 

Catch-up contributions

Catch-up contributions give people over 50 the opportunity to catch up on their retirement. If a person reaches the age of 50, one can contribute thousands more over the annual limit. As of 2012, that amount is $22,500. This is good if a person decides that they want to retire a few years earlier or if circumstances happened when they were younger preventing them from saving on a certain level.

Long term care insurance

Long term care insurance is beneficial for those who may end up in a nursing home. Many families are surprised to learn that Medicare doesn’t actually cover the cost of long-term care. Medicaid also has its share of constraints. It cannot be used until the savings are practically depleted. When a person reaches their early sixties, long term care planning is recommended.

Here are five things you should save up for as you get older. Doing these things will prepare you and your family for life’s challenges as you get older. It’s never too late to start thinking ahead about retirement.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

How The Affordable Care Act May Impact Medical Debt

There are many Americans that are struggling to pay down some of their medical bills. They may be wondering how they can find support to eliminate some of these burdens and get on with their life. The new Affordable Care Act penned in to law by President Obama is slated to go in to effect soon. Some people are wondering whether this will provide help with medical bills, which would be beneficial for many. There are several new changes that will be ushered in by this law, so it may be worthwhile to review some of the pros and cons that it will bring.

First, the new Affordable Care Act will simply make it more accessible for people to get healthcare coverage. While this won't directly affect existing medical bills, it may provide people with much needed support as they move forward. If they are continuing to receive medical treatment for an illness, this provision may just make it more affordable. This can reduce the overall burden that they have to pay out of pocket. If they can't afford to pay for a private health insurance package, some people might qualify for Medicaid. The limit for qualifying for this package has been raised to 133% of the federal poverty level.

The Affordable Care Act will also provide additional support to families that are hovering above this poverty level. If a family of four makes less than $94,000, then they will be able to qualify to receive support. Some people may be able to get tax credits, which can offset much of what they pay for their health insurance package. This could prove to be helpful, since many people currently pay high out of pocket costs. These types of benefits may seem small, but the cumulative effect may allow many people to get out of medical debt.

There are a few other benefits that may be available to different kinds of consumers out there. Some people may work with a large employer that does not currently offer health benefits. With the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, these large businesses will start to receive tax credits for providing health insurance. Additionally, families can claim their kids up to age 26 on their healthcare plans. This will provide them with much more flexibility in the way that they offer coverage. If they are struggling with medical debt, they could expect to get a lot of support going forward.

Some people may want to consider a few of the cons that the program may introduce in the future. There are some sources that are predicting that some insurers will be passing on the costs of the legislation to their customers. This may cause premiums to go up over time, which will be challenging for them. There are also many people who might need to get additional testing to confirm a diagnosis. It can be important for people to consider whether they want to pay for these additional diagnostic tests. They may not be able to afford some of the extra costs that this will bring to them.

In all, a vast majority of consumers can expect to get assistance with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. They likely won't be able to get direct help with a medical bill that they already have. Some people may need to think about checking out some of the insurance deals available through the exchange system being implemented. This could prove to help people find out whether they can get a little help to get back on track. This may be enough for people to eliminate some of their more extensive medical bills.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

How do you Prevent your Loved Elders from Being Neglected?

There comes a time and age in your life when you feel that you are not being able to take good care of your parents any longer. In such cases, what do you do? One option that many elders go for is nursing home care. If you put your loved ones in a nursing home then it will provide them with skilled nursing round the clock along with giving medicines and all kinds of proper care. However, nursing homes can also neglect your loved ones and deprive them of the care that their patients deserve and what they are being paid for. A nursing home can be pretty expensive to pay for, so if you see any signs of neglect in your loved ones, go in for nursing home attorney assistance immediately. 

Planning for long term care

If you are planning for long time health care for your elders, then there are quite a few things that you need to sit down and consider. That includes looking at the long term insurance plans, and looking at options for nursing homes. You should also make sure that your loved one is able to extract the most out of benefit programs like Medicare, Medicaid, etc. Make sure that their assets are protected and be on the lookout for any form of elder fraud. To help you with these financial decisions, you could also hire an attorney who specialises in elder law and finance cases. In that case, you will know all the legalities and the rights that your loved one has.

Be alert for signs of neglect

The first thing to do is to regularly visit your loved ones in the nursing home. If you cannot be present then make sure that you send someone to do it regularly. There are many warning signs of nursing home neglect and you can hold the home legally accountable for them. These include bad hygiene, malnutrition, forms of physical abuse including fractures, bruises or any form of unexplained marks. All living conditions including bathrooms also fall under this category. Lastly, if a nursing home is making claims of providing professional nursing facilities then any form of medical negligence or substandard care also falls under nursing home neglect.

If you feel that your loved one is facing any of these on a regular basis, then you need to seek legal assistance. Remember that it’s not about abuse, even negligence is criminal and can lead to emotional trauma and in some cases, death too.

What to do in case of elder neglect

If you have definitively verified that your loved one is being neglected then you should remove him/her from the facility immediately and have them placed somewhere else. Then you should inform the local authorities and file a complaint with the social services. If you want to take it a step further, then consider going in for nursing home attorney assistance. Hire the services of a civil lawyer who specialises in a branch of elder law. This should include elder abuse, consumer fraud, nursing home law, etc. If there are others like you, then you could consider going in for a class action lawsuit.

The advantage is that, you can sue for neglect as well. The case doesn’t necessarily have to escalate to the point of abuse. There are industry standards that require nursing homes to provide standard and reasonable care to their patients. If the nursing home fails to provide “reasonable care”, then you have cause or action for neglect cases.

About the author:
Jean is a lawyer specialising in elder law for the past fifteen years. She has helped countless elders to structure their healthcare and finance plans. Recently she has also co-authored an article on nursing home attorney assistance. Jean likes to read novels in her free time.

Friday, October 11, 2013

What Are Your Payment Options for Assisted Living?

Most people want to be able to live on their own their whole lives. Unfortunately, your health may start to deteriorate to the point that you can no longer take care of yourself. 

Your family members may not be able to give you the care that you need either. You may need to eventually consider living in an assisted living facility.

Many people are reluctant to use one of these facilities because they feel they are worried about paying for it. Fortunately, there are several ways that you can pay for assisted living.

Utilize Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance will pay for you to go into a nursing home or assisted living facility. The average policy for a 55 year old will cost about $3,500 a year. These policies clearly aren’t cheap, but you will probably be a lot better off purchasing them than trying to pay out of pocket down the road.

Most long-term care policies should cover everything that you need. The average policy will pay for about $4,470 worth of services a month. That is nearly 60% more than the median cost of living in an assisted living facility. 

However, you should ask your insurance carrier what services they will cover and find out how much different facilities cost long before you need them.

Consider a Bridge Loan While Selling Property

You may have trouble paying the premiums for long-term care insurance while you are still working. You may want to take out a bridge loan instead. Bridge loans will pay for your stay at an assisted living facility when you can’t afford to pay upfront. A number of companies offer them.

You will need several people to cosign the loan for you. They will be collectively responsible for making the payments while you are in the assisted living facility. However, one person will usually be appointed to be responsible for making the payments.

The rates on these loans are usually very reasonable. They typically offer a line of credit of up to $50,000 with the same rates as secured home loans. They are ideal for people who are in the process of selling their homes to pay for assisted living.

Look into Medicaid and Medicare Coverage

Many people are unrealistic about what Medicare and Medicaid will cover. They typically aren’t feasible payment options when you have other options available. However, you may still be able to take advantage of them.

Most states offer some form of Medicaid waiver that will allow you to pay for some of your assisted living costs. However, residents in Louisiana, Kentucky, Alabama, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina do not offer such coverage. 

You may want to consider relocating to another state if you are a Medicaid recipient and suspect that you may need to enter an assisted living facility within the next few years.

Medicare is also an option worth considering, but you generally can’t use your Medicare coverage until all other options have been exhausted. You will need to deplete all of your assets first.

About the author:

Kalen is a freelance finance and lifestyle writer. He shares tips to help seniors live comfortably after retirement, such as using Senior Apartments in Kalamazoo Michigan.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

5 Tips for Discussing Health Care Reform at Your Business

When a new change to federal law and how businesses operate makes national news, chances are your employees will be concerned about how it affects them. You may or may not have to change how you approach health insurance for your employees in light of the Affordable Care Act, but regardless, your employees are probably worried about how things will change, if things will change and what it means for them. The savvy business owner does what she can to understand the impact of the law on her business. Your plan for tackling these issues at your business consists of five simple steps.

1. Hire a Speaker

Contact a speakers bureau to book a professional speaker with expertise on health care reform and how businesses deal with insurance issues. Even if you have a fairly good idea of how the changes to law may influence your business, you’re probably not an expert on the subject. It helps to have an expert lecturer to deliver the message to your employees.

2. Provide Information

The actual documents put out by the government explaining the Affordable Care Act are tremendously long and confusing to those not familiar with legalese. Your employees don’t have to know everything about the Affordable Care Act, but it would help if they had access to a few key points explained in everyday language. Talk with your hired professional speaker about providing a print-out or a digitally distributed list of key bullet points every employee ought to know. Use the U.S. Small Business Administration information for additional help.

Don’t forget to look into how your specific state is handling the changes and point your employees to the necessary information about the affordable insurance exchange.

3. Explain the Changes

In addition to your bullet points highlighting the basic things to know about the changes to federal law, highlight any changes that will directly impact your employees, or if there won’t be any changes, explain why. With all of the information from a myriad of sources floating around, your employees need to know that they can zero in on the actual points that will matter to them. As their employer, you’re in the best position to provide an explanation of what will be happening at your individual business.

4. Offer a Timeline

If there are changes to come, include a timeline in your print-out or digital distribution of information. It helps employees to visualize the changes by organizing them by month and year. A calendar complete with deadlines highlighted — days on which employees need to provide information or their last days to switch insurers, for example — will prove especially helpful in making the transition as seamless as possible. Send out an additional reminder at least a week in advance of each deadline.

5. Invite a Discussion

As part of your professional speaker lecture on the topic, invite employees to pose questions and discuss concerns with the expert in a forum or debate held after the lecture. In addition to addressing questions and concerns the day of the lecture, keep your office and human resources representatives’ offices open for additional issues that arise. If possible, put up a forum on a locked employee-only website that allows for additional debate, FAQs and discussion about the changes (or lack of changes) to come. If employees feel like you’re listening to them and addressing their concerns, they’re less likely to become stressed out about the new laws.

Your employees need to know how health care reform will affect them, if at all, and your business is the only organization that can really address the issue with them, as it’s going to impact every business differently. Clear up the confusion and anxiety with your health care reform discussion plan. With the help of experts and an open forum for questions and concerns, worrying about the health care changes to come will become less of an issue, and your employees can better focus on their daily tasks.

About the Author: John Raines is a small-business owner in Iowa. He frequently relies on professional speakers to help address important issues, goals and changes that impact his business.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

How Obamacare Is Helping People Get Health Insurance

English: Barack Obama signing the Patient Prot...
English: Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Efforts to transform the American Health Care System in the so-called Obamacare plan seem not to be working as it was promised. Observers are afraid of a disastrous result with democrats and republicans setting up their own health marketplaces that have to be ready for the consumers to make a health care choice by October 1, 2013. Considered by some as just an experiment, Obamacare is not helping people get health insurance because applying for it is not easy anyway, and many people are absolutely clueless how to make and educate decision when it comes to health insurance, if nobody seems interested at all in educating citizens about the insurance options. 

Decreasing Rather Than Increasing Your Chances 

Curiously, it is supposed that the best and easy way to receive the benefits of the Obamacare plan is through your employer, but everyday more and more companies reduce their number of workers or reduce the working hours to avoid providing their employees with such health coverage. People who are left out of a company plan is expected to approach the health marketplaces to come in October, but there is not enough information on how to purchase coverage and how much they will have to spend on it. 

Getting Ready for a Duteous Application 

Now, the government said that it would never be so easy to buy health care insurance, and that anyone could do it much in the same fashion they buy at Amazon or similar online stores. However, what Obama did not say is that the application includes around 15 pages that require the completion of nearly 21 steps and that many of these steps require further answers to more questions and requirements. Moreover, after the application is submitted, at least three federal agencies will review it to check your identity and veracity of the information, including a verification performed by the IRS. 

Shopping at Amazon, Dream On 

If you think it will be that easy to buy health care insurance when the enrollment season begins this fall, you are probably dreaming. Obama's Affordable Care Act requires the above process to learn more about your financial situation, because it is meant to provide generous support to lower income people. However and regardless of your financial status, once approved for Obamacare, the hardest part is choosing a health plan because all the information that is provided in pure insurance jargon that not all people understand along with a number of additional steps before you can actually purchase health insurance. 

Fortunately, for some, unfortunately for many others, taking out health insurance will be mandatory starting in 2014, so that American citizens are uncertain about what the future is bringing. For people who actually have health insurance through Medicaid or Medicare, it is expected that nothing will change, as they can continue under such health coverage, same as workers who receive other types of health insurance from their employers. However, for people who do not carry health insurance yet, the panorama is not promising, but seems to add more hassle than benefit to their lives.

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