Earlier this fall, Michigan legislators considered a new proposal calling for a 3% tax on physicians’ gross revenues, a move which would allow Michigan to raise its low Medicaid re-imbursement rates by 4% across the board. The proposal, as it turns out, ignited a firestorm of opposition, with several hundred doctors and others in the medical community organizing in protest at the Capitol in Lansing. The bill was quickly killed in the Michigan Senate by a 32-4 vote following earlier passage in the House.

In the wake of that bill’s defeat came a sucker punch for those providers who accept Medicaid payments: an 8% reduction in the already-low rates. [click to continue…]


A Time for Families and Gratitude

by Jerrold Bartholomew

This week we celebrate Thanksgiving and already the end of 2009 is in sight. For many, especially in Michigan, this year will conclude with a sense of “good riddance.” And yet, particularly this week, we re-kindle that spirit of gratitude that helps to bind our families and our country. We count our blessings, look past each others’ weaknesses, and spend a brief time sharing laughter, memories and good food. We also find ourselves in stolen moments contemplating our priorities, our plans, and the future. It’s a funny thing how memories and merry-making so often turn our thoughts to the future. And so it is that the life and love of this season spur us to get our houses in order and plan for our loved ones and for our own future needs. This mindfulness is prudent and provident, and we are thankful for these gentle, natural nudges the season provides. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from Priority Elder Law & Estate Planning!



End of Year Estate Planning?

November 10, 2009

Many people develop and execute a tax plan between now and the end of the year. With just about seven weeks remaining in the year, it is time to move quickly. But very few people need to plan their gifting for tax purposes anymore. With the estate tax being eliminated in 2010 and the estate […]

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Collaborating With an Elder Care Expert: Putting a Geriatric Care Manager on Your Team

November 9, 2009

Caring for a senior gets complicated quickly. Even assuming that an ideal care regiment can be identified, financing that care, locating resources and working out the logistics of transportation, insurance and personalities can be more than a full time job. For these reasons, it is helpful to turn to a geriatric care manager. Geriatric care […]

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Boomer Misconception

August 20, 2009

I would like to take a moment to address what I believe to be a huge misconception – if not deception – by some in the elder care industry: that the ranks of seniors today are on the brink of exploding due to Baby Boomers crossing the threshold to the elder world of significant physical […]

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Gift taxes, estate taxes, Medicaid planning, and more

April 2, 2009

Many people have heard of the annual exclusion for gift tax, but there are several points on this issue that are easily confused. In order for an estate plan to be effective, various concepts must be taken into account. First, for most people gift tax will never be a concern. While it is true that […]

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Nursing home expenses are tax deductible

March 31, 2009

Many people are not aware that long-term care costs are tax deductible medical expenses. Nursing home costs, defined as “necessary diagnostic, preventive, therapeutic, curing, treating, mitigating, rehabilitative services, and maintenance and personal care services” for the care of a chronically ill individual and prescribed by a licensed health care practitioner, are fully deductible. Additionally, assisted […]

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FAQ: What happens when two spouses both enter the nursing home?

March 25, 2009

When both spouses of a married couple need nursing home care, the most immediate result is a catastrophic bill of $12,000.00 per month or more. Without the advice of an elder law attorney, the couple will continue to spend down assets until their assets reach just $4,000.00 in cash. Substantially better results can be achieved […]

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FAQ: What happens if I die without a will?

February 14, 2009

Dying without a will, or intestate, means that your estate will be distributed according to the default provisions of state law. For a variety of reasons, this can make the administration of your estate take longer, cost more, and create divisions within a family. Why? Without an up to date will, it is easy for […]

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New Medicaid Numbers for 2009

February 1, 2009

The Department of Human Services for the State of Michigan has announced new numbers for 2009. Every year the numbers concerning Medicaid eligibility for long-term care are adjusted to reflect increases in the cost of living. The new community spouse resource allowance is a minimum of $21,912.00 and a maximum of $109,560.00. This number is […]

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