FAQ: What does it mean for an annuity to be “Medicaid friendly”?

January 29, 2009

It is very common to hear annuities described as “Medicaid friendly.” Most people hearing the words “Medicaid friendly” would assume that assets placed in such an annuity will be protected from the cost of long term care and indeed, they may even be told so by an insurance professional or financial advisor. But under Michigan […]

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CMS publishes new nursing home rating system

December 19, 2008

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has published their long-anticipated 5 star rating system for nursing homes. The breadth of the new rating system is astounding: in Michigan alone, complete information can be found on 425 nursing homes. The system offers information on the number of beds available, the types of payment accepted […]

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Tougher estate recovery coming to Michigan?

November 20, 2008

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has apparently rejected Michigan’s proposed estate recovery program. Michigan’s proposed legislation was unique not only for being last in the union to be enacted, but also for being exceptionally lenient. It is therefore reasonable to assume that Michigan will be required to enact a more aggressive approach […]

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FAQ: What is the community spouse resource allowance?

October 16, 2008

Medicaid qualification is full of its own jargon that can make the process a mystery to almost anyone. One key concept to understand is the “community spouse resource allowance.” To speak in the jargon of Medicaid for a moment, the community spouse resource allowance is the value of non-exempt assets that a married couple is […]

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Getting the most from veterans’ benefits

September 19, 2008

Many veterans are unaware of the Aid and Attendance Pension that is available to help them with their medical expenses, which include the cost of assisted living. Some veterans are simply unaware of this benefit. Others have been told that they do not qualify based on “having too much money.” It is important to understand […]

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FAQ: Is my annuity protected from the cost of nursing home care?

September 17, 2008

Question: I purchased an annuity in 2007 in the hope that it would be protected from nursing home costs. I have heard some things in the news that make me wonder whether that money will have to go to the cost of nursing home care. What is the truth? Answer: By itself, an annuity is […]

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Blogging continues apace among lawyers

September 17, 2008

Two blawgers contacted me over the weekend. I am pleased to report that both have interesting blogs. Jeremy Richey offers the East Central Illinois Criminal Law and DUI Weblog. Jeremy is a sharp writer and offers keen analysis of the latest developments in case law and popular culture related to his specialty. Meanwhile, Sean Sweeney […]

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New book about one family’s eldercare journey

September 16, 2008

Mary Ellen Geist, formerly a high-powered New York radio journalist, has written about her experiences as a caregiver for her father. Her book, Measure of the Heart, tells her story of returning home to Michigan to care for her father suffering from Alzheimer’s. MSNBC recently interviewed Mary (video here) and provided a number of excerpts […]

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Drew Sygit on the takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

September 7, 2008

Drew Sygit, a certified mortgage specialist from the Lending Edge Team in Rochester Hills, and author of Drews’s Mortgage News, Michigan sent me some interesting thoughts regarding the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over the weekend. Drew offers several helpful points: Look for mortgage-based lending standards to become even stricter in the […]

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Losing your group health insurance

September 4, 2008

Many seniors receive group health insurance coverage from their spouse’s retirement plan. What many seniors don’t realize is that losing one’s spouse can also mean losing that group health insurance coverage. For seniors on a fixed income, the additional health insurance premium can be an unpleasant surprise. This article from AARP explains that there are […]

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