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Medicaid’s Power to Recoup Benefits Paid: Estate Recovery and Liens

Lavelle & Finn


Federal law requires the state to attempt to recover the long-term care benefits from a Medicaid recipient’s estate after the recipient’s death. If steps aren’t taken to protect the Medicaid recipient’s house, it may need to be sold to settle the claim.  For Medicaid recipients age 55 or older, states must seek recovery of payments from the […]

What to Do If You Are Appointed Guardian of an Older Adult

Lavelle & Finn


Being appointed guardian of a loved one is a serious responsibility. As guardian, you are in charge of your loved one’s well-being and you have a duty to act in his or her best interest.   If an adult becomes mentally incapacitated and is incapable of making responsible decisions, the court will appoint a substitute […]

Don’t Let Medicare Open Enrollment Go By Without Reassessing Your Options

Lavelle & Finn


Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, during which you can freely enroll in or switch plans, runs from October 15 to December 7. Don’t let this period slip by without shopping around to see whether your current choices are the best ones for you.   During this period you may enroll in a Medicare Part D (prescription […]

The 2020 Social Security Increase Will Be Smaller than 2019’s

Lavelle & Finn


The Social Security Administration has announced a 1.6 percent increase in benefits in 2020, nearly half of last year’s change. The small rise has advocates questioning whether the government is using the proper method to calculate the cost of living for older Americans and those with disabilities. Cost-of-living increases are tied to the consumer price […]

How to Use a Trust in Medicaid Planning

Lavelle & Finn


With careful Medicaid planning, you may be able to preserve some of your estate for your children or other heirs while meeting Medicaid’s low asset limit. The problem with transferring assets is that you have given them away. You no longer control them, and even a trusted child or other relative may lose them. A safer […]

Most Are Taking Social Security at the Wrong Time

Lavelle & Finn


A new report finds that almost no retirees are making financially optimal decisions about when to take Social Security and are losing out on more than $100,000 per household in the process. The average Social Security recipient would receive 9 percent more income in retirement if they made the financially optimal decision. When claiming Social […]

Tips for Preventing, Detecting, and Reporting Financial Abuse of the Elderly

Lavelle & Finn


Reports of elder financial abuse continue to increase, and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to scams or to financial abuse by family members in need of money. It is hard to ascertain the exact numbers of people affected by elder abuse because studies show that elder abuse is underreported. However, one study found that financial loss from financial elder […]

What to Look for When Buying an Annuity

Lavelle & Finn


An annuity can be a useful tool for long-term care planning, but annuities are also complex financial products that are hard to understand. If purchasing an annuity, you need to consider your options carefully.  An annuity is a contract with an insurance company under which the consumer pays the company a certain amount of money […]

Medicaid’s Asset Transfer Rules

Lavelle & Finn


In order to be eligible for Medicaid, you cannot have recently transferred assets. Congress does not want you to move into a nursing home on Monday, give all your money to your children on Tuesday, and qualify for Medicaid on Wednesday, so it has imposed a penalty on people who transfer assets without receiving fair […]

New Rule May Make It Harder for Medicare Beneficiaries to Receive Home Care

Lavelle & Finn


It may become harder for Medicare beneficiaries to find home health care due to a new rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Although the rule changes the way home health care providers are reimbursed, it could affect patient care as well. Starting in January 2020, Medicare will reimburse home health agencies […]