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States May Not Terminate Medicaid Benefits During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Lavelle & Finn


Access to affordable medical care is especially important during a global health crisis. You should be aware that federal law prevents states that have accepted increased Medicaid funding from terminating Medicaid benefits while the coronavirus health emergency continues. The Secretary of Health and Human Services has declared a nationwide public health emergency for COVID-19. In […]

Seniors Affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic Have More Time to Apply for Medicare or Change Plans

Lavelle & Finn


The closure of Social Security offices has caused problems and worries for recently unemployed seniors who need to apply for Medicare after losing their employer coverage. In response, the federal government has announced that seniors affected by the crisis have additional time to enroll in Medicare or change plans. With millions of people out of work and […]

States Move to Immunize Nursing Homes from Liability During Coronavirus Pandemic

Lavelle & Finn


Chronic understaffing. Low-wage caregivers. Difficulty containing infections. These are problems that nursing homes faced in the best of times but that have proved especially deadly as the coronavirus pandemic has spread like wildfire through long-term care facilities. In response, many states have moved to shield nursing homes — and in some states assisted living facilities […]

Medicare and Medicaid Will Cover Coronavirus Testing

Lavelle & Finn


With coronavirus dominating news coverage and creating alarm, it is important to know that Medicare and Medicaid will cover tests for the virus. The department of Health and Human Services has designated the test for the new strain of coronavirus (officially called COVID-19) an essential health benefit. This designation means that Medicare and Medicaid will […]

Federal Government Allows States to Choose Medicaid Block Grants

Lavelle & Finn


The federal government has unveiled a plan to allow states the option to cap Medicaid spending using block grants. While this change does not directly affect nursing home residents on Medicaid and is billed as a way to improve state flexibility in running Medicaid programs, it could result in significant service cuts.  Medicaid is a […]

How Secure Is Social Security?

Lavelle & Finn


For years people have been worried about Social Security’s future, but what is the actual outlook? According to the federal government, unless Congress acts to intervene, Social Security shortfalls are expected beginning in 2035. Social Security retirement benefits are financed primarily through dedicated payroll taxes paid by workers and their employers, with employees and employers […]

Make Sure You Are Counted in the 2020 Census

Lavelle & Finn


The 2020 census is starting soon, and seniors need to be counted. This may be more of a challenge this year because for the first time, the census will be completed largely online. The U.S Constitution mandates that the federal government conduct a census every 10 years. Information from the census is used to determine […]

The Future of Social Security and Medicare: Here’s What Trustees Are Projecting

Lavelle & Finn


Most Americans will eventually receive Social Security and Medicare benefits. Each year, the Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds release lengthy reports to Congress that assess the health of these important programs. The newest reports, released on April 22, 2019, discuss the current financial condition and ongoing financial challenges that both programs […]

IRA and Retirement Plan Limits for 2020

Lavelle & Finn


IRA contribution limits The maximum amount you can contribute to a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA in 2020 is $6,000 (or 100% of your earned income, if less), unchanged from 2019. The maximum catch-up contribution for those age 50 or older remains at $1,000. You can contribute to both a traditional IRA and a […]