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Are Medicare Advantage Plans Steering Enrollees to Lower-Quality Nursing Homes?

A new study has found that people enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan were more likely to enter a lower quality nursing home than were people in traditional Medicare. The study raises questions about whether Medicare Advantage plans are influencing beneficiaries’ decisionmaking when it comes to choosing a nursing home. Medicare Advantage plans, an alternative…

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Tax Deductions for Assisted Living Costs

With tax time upon us again this year, it is a good time to discuss which expenses and costs you are able to deduct when it comes to assisted living communities. If you or a family member lives in an assisted living facility, you know that assisted living costs continue to rise every year. But…

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Be on the Lookout for New Medicare Cards (and New Card-Related Scams)

The federal government is issuing new Medicare cards to all Medicare beneficiaries. To prevent fraud and fight identity theft, the new cards will no longer have the beneficiaries’ Social Security numbers on them. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is replacing each beneficiary’s Social Security number with a unique identification number, called a…

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Proving That a Transfer Was Not Made in Order to Qualify for Medicaid

Medicaid law imposes a penalty period if you transferred assets within five years of applying, but what if the transfers had nothing to do with Medicaid? It is difficult to do, but if you can prove you made the transfers for a purpose other than to qualify for Medicaid, you can avoid a penalty. You…

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New Federal Law Puts Focus on Preventing Elder Abuse

A new federal law is designed to address the growing problem of elder abuse. The law supports efforts to better understand, prevent, and combat both financial and physical elder abuse. The prevalence of elder abuse is hard to calculate because it is underreported, but according to the National Council on Aging, approximately 1 in 10…

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You Can Give Away More Tax Free in 2018

After staying the same for five years, the amount you can give away to any one individual in a particular year without reporting the gift increased in 2018. The annual gift tax exclusion for 2018 rose from $14,000 to $15,000. This means that any person who gives away $15,000 or less to any one individual…

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Caregivers Can Help Dementia Patients Get Better Sleep with a Bedtime Routine

This week we are happy to share with you a guest blog post from the Tuck Sleep Foundation. The elderly often suffer from more sleep disturbances than their younger counterparts, but those with dementia struggle from sleep loss even more than average. Those with dementia are far more likely to experience daytime sleepiness, wandering during…

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Estate Planning and Retirement Considerations for Late-in-Life Parents

Older parents are becoming more common, driven in part by changing cultural mores and surrogate motherhood. Comedian and author Steve Martin had his first child at age 67. Singer Billy Joel just welcomed his third daughter. Janet Jackson had a child at age 50. But later-in-life parents have some special estate planning and retirement considerations….

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