Archive for December, 2013

How to Qualify for Medicaid

When it comes to addressing long term care expenses, most people say that Medicaid will cover for their expenses. Though this federal program can pay for long term care services, not everyone can qualify under it. If you’re looking to this program to cover your long term care needs, you must first know if you are eligible.

Medicaid qualifications may vary from state to state. Some may cover certain groups, while others can’t. However, applicants need to meet general, financial and functional requirements. How-to-qualify-for-Medicaid-194x300

General

Overall, applicants needs to be a citizen of the United States or were able to satisfy immigration rules. Furthermore, they need to reside in the state where they intend to apply for Medicaid coverage and must possess a Social Security number.

If you are 65 years old or older, permanently disabled, blind, pregnant, a child or someone who takes care of a child, you could be qualified to receive Medicaid benefits.

Functional

Your need for long term care should be substantiated first. It will be assessed by a nurse or a social worker in the state where you’re applying in. Apart from determining if you really need long term care, they will also figure out which care setting is suitable for your situation.

Your ability to perform Activities of Daily Living (ADL) will determine your eligibility. In evaluating this, they will see if you need the assistance or unable to perform basic activities such as bathing, eating, getting dressed or transferring.

Financial

The amount of your income and assets is also a determinant of whether or not you’ll qualify. Some of your income and assets are counted, while others are not. For instance, your checking and savings accounts are countable while your place of residence is not.

Some people turn to spending down their assets. If you have an amount of savings and possessions that are too much for Medicaid’s standard, consult a financial expert to see if spending down is really the best option for you or if there are ways that you can still qualify for Medicaid without letting most of your assets go.

Medicaid can be helpful especially if you don’t have the financial means to pay for long term care services. However, this should not be your only option in addressing this need. As early as now, start planning on how you will face long term care needs in the future. Explore different financial strategies and consider how long term care insurance can be beneficial for you. If you take time to prepare, you’ll have that sense of assurance that your quality of life and finances will be preserved even if you need long term care in the future.

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Caregiver Resolutions to get you through 2014

Providing care can be very demanding especially if you have other obligations like a day job or household chores. If the year 2013 has been a tough year for you as a caregiver, this caregiver resolutions will surely make the following year much easier as a caregiver. In addition to this informative post, you can also learn how to effectively manage your time between work and caregiving by reading this: http://www.ltcoptions.com/elder-care-services/caregiving/how-to-balance-work-and-caregiving/.

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Why Plan for Long Term Care?

The rising cost of long term care can be intimidating, however, that should not be reason enough for you to disregard planning for it. In fact, this should be your motivation to start formulating a plan for long term care as early as now.

It is innate in people to shun thoughts about getting old, becoming ill and being dependent on others for help, this is one of the reasons why most would opt to put long term care planning on hold. However, not thinking about it now doesn’t lessen the possibilities that you might it need it in the future.

Typically, a person would want to maintain independence, good health and financial stability when the golden years come. The same probably goes for you. It is important to note though that when long term care needs suddenly arise and you are not ready, it can have great implications on the areas above. The effects could be drastic. Indeed, it pays to have a good and sound long term care plan.

Other reasons why it’s essential to plan are the following:

Elderly Population Growth

By 2035, the number of the elderly aging 65 and beyond is estimated to grow to 77 million. As the number of old people grows, the higher the possible need for long term care. Furthermore, you should take into consideration that about 70% of people aging 65 years old or more would require long term care.

Birthrate is going down, thus, families are now getting smaller. This can result to a growth in the number of older people. Meanwhile 40% of the population is single, and often times most of them don’t have partners or children that can take care of them. If this persists, then people needing long term care will likely grow. And one of them could be you.

The Effect of Unpreparedness to your Family

If you are caught unprepared in facing a need for long term care, instinctively, you would turn to your family. Loved ones will no doubt do their best to provide you with care, however, this can have drawbacks on their end.

Long term care requires time. If your family devotes their time in taking care of you, they might need to put their careers on hold. This can result to a decrease in their income which will result to financial strain. Of course, you wouldn’t want that for your children, relatives or loved ones.

Financial Implications

If you fail to plan when it comes to long term care, it can greatly affect the state of your finances. Long term care services are hefty, and if you don’t have a plan say, an insurance policy, it can eat off a huge chunk of your nest. Worst case scenario would be your assets and funds being depleted.

Of course, you are in a rush to receive care. Therefore, you might need to pay huge sums outright. Furthermore, since you are in haste, shopping for different programs, services and rates is no longer to your advantage.

What about Government Programs?

If you want comprehensive long term care coverage, it is not advised that you rely solely on programs set out by the government. Government programs like Medicare may cover long term care under strict conditions. Usually, the coverage is very limited and may still result to out-of-pocket payments on your end should you need care that’s way beyond what is covered.

Medicaid is the federal program that is more geared towards long term care. However, you need to meet a certain asset criteria. Typically, your assets have to be close to depletion before you’ll be eligible for benefits.

Government programs can help with long term care, that’s true. However, what they offer is very limited and might be short of your actual needs.

All these factors boil down to one thing: security. Planning for long term care is your first step to ensuring that you have the best quality of life in the future, most likely in your elderly years.

Source:

http://www.ltcoptions.com/planning-for-long-term-care/why-plan-for-long-term-care/

Related Links:

https://www.genworth.com/lets-talk/ltc/planning-for-long-term-care.html

http://www.longtermcarelink.net/a13information_guide.htm

http://www.aoa.gov/AoA_programs/HCLTC/LTC/index.aspx

http://www.caregiver.com/channels/ltc/articles/planning_for_ltc.htm
http://nihseniorhealth.gov/longtermcare/planningforlongtermcare/01.html

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CareGround.com: A new online resource for caregivers:

Finding reliable caregiving resources is hard to come by these days and good thing CaregGround.com came to the picture. One of the concerns that caregivers should give importance to, is how to effectively take care of themselves. Taking care of patients with Alzheimer’s, Dementia and other serious conditions is no joke. There will come a time that these caregivers will reach their limit and get burned out. Through CareGround’s forums, caregivers can finally reach out to their fellow caregivers and ask for tips on how to alleviate stress. Another thing that they should be concerned about is how they can manage work and caregiving duties. It would be easier to do the said tasks after reading this: http://www.ltcoptions.com/elder-care-services/caregiving/.

Elder Law News

Being a caregiver not takes a lot of time and energy. And to be successful at it you need resources you can count on. With you at the center, you can more easily take control of your caregiving with the proper support in place around you. Checkout http://www.careground.com.

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CareGround provides caregivers an online database of premier service providers focused on geriatrics and dementia care. CareGround listings include physicians, elder care attorneys, trust and estate planners, CCRC’s (Continuing Care Retirement Communities), and virtually all other providers of related services.

This database is a collection of listings for elder care with search options including desired professional specialty and location. In addition, specialists in CareGround’s database are reviewed by CareGround members, so that other CareGround users can make more informed decisions regarding which service providers to utilize.

Beyond listings, CareGround delivers informative periodic newsletters, smart editorial features and a vibrant community via help…

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Heart-Wrenching Video Shows How One Elderly Man Confronts Loneliness

In just over seven minutes, Barcelona-based filmmaker Theo Putzu manages to paint the most heart-wrenchingly beautiful depiction of loneliness Vimeo has ever seen. Titled “Paper Memories,” the short film documents one elderly man’s relationship with what appears to be his late wife, a touching story recounted using 4,000 photographs pieced together in a delicate stop motion creation.

In the video, the lead character, a thin, gray-haired figure who walks with the help of a cane, can be seen sifting through black-and-white snapshots of an older woman. As his stare lingers on the various images, the woman begins to move, guiding him on a journey throughout a picturesque, beachside village. Their nostalgic walk finally results in a poetic, otherworldly reunion, a meeting shrouded in tranquility that lets the viewer guess how their saga ended.

Watch the video above, but be warned — you will need tissues on hand. Let us know your thoughts on the miniature film in the comments.

Source:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/10/paper-memories-_n_4073389.html

Related Links:

http://www.ltcoptions.com/elderly-depression-causes-signs-prevention/

http://psychcentral.com/lib/coping-with-loneliness-tips-for-seniors/0001154

http://www.comfortkeepers.com/information-center/news-and-highlights/combating-loneliness

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New York Long Term Care Insurance

New York is nicknamed as the Empire State. It ranks as the 3rd most populated state in the US. In 2012, New York has a population of 19,570,261 according to the United States Census Bureau. New York City – where most of the population is concentrated – has over 8 million residents in that year.

The state’s obese numbers less than 28% of the population. Almost 22% of New York City’s residents are obese. In 2010, an estimated 320 out of 1000 senior citizens in New York have Alzheimer’s disease. As a result, the state has the fourth highest incidence of Alzheimer’s for this age group in the country.

An estimated 13.7% of New York’s population composes of senior citizens in 2011. Long term care insurance policies will cover health and social services for them. There are also policies that offer specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

Average Costs of Long Term Care Services in New York

The prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and other intellectual complications among New York’s seniors necessitates long term care in the state. Long term care is also required by aged citizens who need everyday assistance with even basic tasks such as eating and dressing. It is important to know the costs of various long term care services and facilities in the state.

The table below, based from Genworth Financial’s 2010 Cost of Care survey, shows the average annual costs of long term care among regions in New York.

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Long Term Care Partnership Program in New York

New York is one of the states with the most expensive long term care services in the US. Citizens with low incomes prefer to apply with Medicaid. However, if they exceed the asset ownership limit – even slightly – they may spend up their resources and face poverty.

Good thing that New York is one of the states that initiated a partnership for long term care. This program involves cooperation between the state government and private insurance companies. New York’s residents can get long term care benefits even if they are above Medicaid’s limit. They can also secure an amount of their assets that is the same as the payments they get from their policies.

Partnership Policy Requirements in New York

For insurance policies to be certified as Partnership policies in New York, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 has set a number of requirements that must be met:

  • Issue Date: The policy must be issued after the effective date of the Partnership Program in the state (January 1, 2006).
  • State of Residence: The policy holder must be a resident in New York at the time the coverage became effective.
  • Inflation Protection: All Partnership policies must include inflation protection. Policies issued to individuals under age 61 must provide compound annual inflation protection. Policies sold to individuals who have attained age 61 but not yet attained age 76 must include some level of inflation protection. Inflation protection may be offered, but is not required to individuals who have attained age 76.
  • Qualified under Federal Tax Law: All Partnership policies must adhere to the definition of a Long Term Care Insurance policy in section 7702B(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
  • Consumer Protection: The policy must adhere to the requirements defined in section 1917(b)(1)(C)(iii)(III) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. section 1396p(b)(1)(C)(iii)(III).

Partnership Insurance Policy Providers in New York

The New York Department of Financial Services provides private insurance companies the license to sell Partnership policies. Only agents who have received Partnership Program training are allowed to offer, sell and negotiate Partnership policies.

Here’s a list of insurance carriers licensed to offer Partnership policies in New York:

  • Genworth Life Insurance Company of New York
  • MedAmerica Insurance Co. of New York
  • Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
  • John Hancock Life & Health Insurance Company
  • New York Life Insurance Company
  • MedAmerica Insurance Co. of NY

Source:

http://www.ltcoptions.com/long-term-care-new-york/

For more comprehensive reading, here are a few external references you can visit:

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More than 8 million use long-term care services in USA

A recent report reveals that 81 million is the expected number of Americans who will be 65 and above in 2050. This goes to show that a lot of people will require long term care in the future and thus will need long term care insurance. Most people put off the idea of planning for long term care because they think that they will not benefit from this sooner or later. People should take into consideration the probability of incurring an injury or developing a serious illness and purchase private insurance in order to avoid financial woes. The cost of long term comes with a sky-high price tag nowadays and what more in the future, right? So it’s recommended to have long term care policy because this is the most economical and efficient way to cover your expenses. If you’re really concerned about your future and your family’s future, start planning for long term care now.

ImageThe first-ever compilation of federal data profiles five types of long-term care providers in 2012. About 58,500 long-term care providers are divided among five groups, including nursing homes and adult day services. among 58,500 entities and nearly 1.5 million nursing employees and the people who use them.

More than 8 million people (mostly women and mostly older than 65) used services of a long-term care provider last year, according to the first-ever compilation of federal data profiling the types of providers in the USA and the people who use them.

The report, released Thursday, is based on the National Study of Long-Term Care Providers, a new effort by the National Center for Health Statistics to get a better handle on the options for care and determine trends.

“Most think of nursing homes, but because the long-term care industry has evolved over the past 30 years, nursing homes are still the major player in long-term care services but not the only provider,” says Lauren Harris-Kojetin, the report’s lead author.

The five areas of paid, regulated providers are adult day service centers, home health agencies, hospices, nursing homes, and assisted living and similar residential care communities. The report for 2012 includes some 2011 data; officials say numbers will be updated every two years.

Having the federal data will help providers and officials understand the scope of caregiving needs, suggests John Schall, CEO of the Caregiver Action Network, a family caregiver organization based in Washington, D.C.

“This confirms what we always suspected in terms of what those numbers would look like,” he says. “That’s a fascinating number (8 million) because we never actually had that number.”

However, Schall says the 8 million figure is still “a minority of people receiving care.”

“By far, the lion’s share of people getting care are getting it from their family caregivers rather than from paid care workers,” he says. “There’s no question that family caregiving is really the backbone of the long-term care support services in this country.”

Data released this summer from the Pew Research

Center showed that 39% of adults in the USA say they are caregivers for someone with significant health issues, up from 30% in 2010.

In many cases, Harris-Kojetin says, the new information is “a piece of the picture” of people who may also be getting unpaid, informal care, “but at least some services from paid, regulated providers.”

The national report finds that about 58,500 paid, regulated long-term care entities are divided among the five sectors and employ nearly 1.5 million nurses and nursing aides.

The report finds that “a sizable portion of service users” in all five types of facility sectors had a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias, ranging from about 30% of home health patients to almost half of nursing home residents.

The percentage of users of long-term care services diagnosed with depression was highest in nursing homes (48.5%) and lowest in residential care communities (24.8%), adult day services centers (23.5%) and hospices (22.2%).

Source:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/12/12/long-term-care-elderly-alzheimers/3990853/

Related Links:

http://www.ltcoptions.com/learn-the-basics/

http://longtermcare.gov/the-basics/

http://www.aarp.org/health/health-insurance/info-06-2012/understanding-long-term-care-insurance.html

http://www.aaltci.org/long-term-care-insurance/learning-center/planning-basics.php

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