Hospitals Now Must Provide Notice About Observation Status

All hospitals must now give Medicare recipients notice when they are in the hospital under observation status. The notice requirement is part of a law enacted in 2015 but that just took effect. Signed by President Obama in August 2015, the law was intended to prevent surprises after a Medicare beneficiary spends days in a hospital under “observation” and is then admitted to a nursing home. This is important because Medicare covers nursing home stays entirely for the first 20 days, but only if the patient was first admitted to a hospital as an inpatient for at least three days. Continue Reading

Is It Better to Use Joint Ownership or a Trust to Pass Down a Home?

When leaving a home to your children, you can avoid probate by using either joint ownership or a revocable trust, but which is the better method?If you add your child as a joint tenant on your house, you will each have an equal ownership interest in the property. If one joint tenant dies, his or her interest immediately ceases to exist and the other joint tenant owns the entire property. This has the advantage of avoiding probate. A disadvantage of joint tenancy is that creditors can attach the tenant’s property to satisfy a debt. So, for example, if a co-tenant Continue Reading

What is palliative care? How can it help you?

The New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper offers a series of articles about palliative care. Read the article below to learn more about palliative care and how it can help you and your loved ones. Palliative care: ‘Bringing medicine back to where it’s supposed to be’ By GRETCHEN M. GROSKY | New Hampshire Union Leader It’s 8 a.m. and a group of doctors, nurses, social workers and spiritual counselors gathers around a conference table in a building at Concord Hospital. The team of palliative care providers brings out a Himalayan prayer bowl and for more than an hour, takes turns speaking Continue Reading

Costs of Some New Long-Term Care Insurance Policies Rise in Latest Survey

A couple who are both age 60 and who purchase new long-term care insurance coverage can expect to pay between 6 and 9 percent more compared to a year ago according to the 2017 Long Term Care Insurance Price Index, an annual report from the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, an industry group. But rates for single men and women remained fairly level or, in some instances, actually declined compared to 2016, reports the association. A married couple both age 60 would pay $2,200 a year combined for a total of $328,000 of long-term care insurance coverage. This represents a 9 Continue Reading

Protect Your Parent From Delirium

Help a hospitalized loved one avoid delirium by following the HELP (Hospital Elder Life Program) suggestions. Delirium is an acute and fluctuating disorder of attention and cognition which appears can manifest itself differently in different people.  Factors that contribute to delirium in elderly patients are dehydration, immobility, sleep deprivation, hearing impairment or vision impairment and cognitive impairment. The HELP program is offered in over 200 hospitals in the United States but families can help their hospitalized relation by following the HELP guidelines.  For more information, follow our link to the article. How You Can Protect Your Parent From Delirium By Continue Reading

Things Seniors Should Remember at Tax Time

Tax day, which is April 18th in 2017, is approaching and it is time to begin crossing T’s and dotting I’s in preparation for paying taxes. As tax time draws near, you want to make sure you file all the proper forms and take all deductions you’re entitled to. Following are some things to keep in mind as you prepare your tax form. Gifts. Did you give away any money this year? The gift tax can be very confusing. If you gave away more than $14,000 in 2016, you will have to file a Form 709, the gift tax return. Continue Reading

97 Year Old Twin Sister’s Touching Tribute

Together at birth and at death, twin sisters, Martha William and Jean Haley, die tragically on the same day from a fall and exposure.  Sharing a special bond, the sisters stayed close to each other throughout their lives, not letting more that a day pass without seeing each other. On what turned out to be their last day together, they shared it by doing one of their favorite activities – eating a favorite restaurant.   Read the touching tribute paid to the sisters by their family. Together for 97 years, twin sisters meet tragic end By Mark Arsenault and Andy Continue Reading

Women Have Less Income In Retirement Than Men

Across all age groups, women have considerably less income in retirement than men, according to a report from the National Institute on Retirement Security. Between gaps in employment due to child rearing or caring for an aging relative and earning less than men, women are entering retirement with having earned less than their male counterparts. Between the pay gap and having worked less time, eighty percent of women age 65 and older are more likely to be impoverished than men. Read this NYT article and find out how to save for your retirement. Money Worries for Retired Women By Kerry Continue Reading

How to Deduct Long-Term Care Premiums From Your Income

Taxpayers with long-term care insurance policies can deduct some of their premiums from their income. Whether you can use the deduction requires comparing your medical expenses to your income in a complicated formula. Premiums for qualified long-term care insurance policies are tax deductible to the extent that they, along with other unreimbursed medical expenses (including Medicare premiums), exceed 10 percent of the insured’s adjusted gross income. In tax year 2016, taxpayers 65 and older only need medical expenses to exceed 7.5 percent of their income, but in 2017, taxpayers 65 and older will have the same 10 percent rule as Continue Reading

Watch Out for Mistakes in the List of Doctors Covered by Your Medicare Advantage Plan

Medicare Advantage plans are a popular alternative to regular Medicare because the plans often offer lower out-of-pocket costs, but buyers need to make sure they know what they are paying for. A government review of Medicare Advantage plans revealed that their provider directories were often riddled with errors, causing those plans to face serious fines. Medicare Advantage plans are provided by private insurers, unlike original Medicare, which is provided by the government. The government pays Medicare Advantage plans a fixed monthly fee to provide services to each Medicare beneficiary under their care. These plans are usually health maintenance organizations (HMOs) Continue Reading