New Form Makes Tax Time Easier for Seniors

With the 2019 tax filing  season upon us, the IRS has attempted to make it easier for seniors to file their 2019 federal tax return.  If you are 65 or older (or you turned 65 any time in 2019), you will have the option to use a new simple tax form for seniors, known as Form 1040-SR: U.S. Tax Return for Seniors, when you file your 2019 taxes in April 2020.  In order to take advantage of this new form, you need to take the standard deduction—and the form incorporates [...]

By |2020-03-02T09:50:14-05:00March 2nd, 2020|Blog, Law Update|

Rule Allowing Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements in Nursing Homes Takes Effect

As of September 16, 2019, nursing homes nationwide can begin asking residents (or their representatives) to sign a pre-dispute arbitration agreement. The Trump Administration reversed a previous prohibition on such agreements in a July 2019 final rule. Although there is ongoing legal action to overturn the Administration’s rule, implementation has not been delayed for the majority of nursing homes nationwide. Residents and their representatives have certain protections under the new rule. Most importantly, facilities cannot require pre-dispute arbitration agreements as a condition of admission or as a requirement for [...]

By |2020-02-07T09:59:19-05:00September 23rd, 2019|Blog, Law Update|

More Opportunities For Seniors to Receive Care Via Telemedicine

Access to telehealth services for seniors may take off in the coming years thanks to the CHRONIC CARE Act, signed into law in February 2018.  The new law was part of the newly approved federal budget that enables virtual doctor visits for Americans covered by Medicare Advantage plans. The new law will make it easier for private Medicare Advantage plans and other entities like accountable care organizations (ACOs) to offer telehealth services. It could be a huge boon to telehealth startups getting into the business of offering access to [...]

By |2018-06-04T13:21:31-04:00June 4th, 2018|Blog, Law Update|

2018 Updated Elder Law Figures

2018 Elder Law Numbers The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the new Medicare premiums, deductibles, and co-payments for 2018: Basic Part B premium: $134.00/month (was $109.00 in 2017) Part B deductible: $183 (same as 2017) Part A deductible: $1,340 (was $1,316 in 2017) Co-payment for hospital stay days 61-90: $335/day (was $329 in 2017); Co-payment for hospital stay days 91-150: $670/day (was $644 in 2017) All costs for each day beyond 150 days Skilled nursing facility co-payment, days 21-100: $167.50/day (was $164.50 in 2017) Also, [...]

By |2018-01-15T10:54:14-05:00December 30th, 2017|Blog, Law Update|

Gifting to Children & Grandchildren

By Jane M. Fearn-Zimmer, Esquire Clients frequently want to know whether they may make gifts to their children and grandchildren for birthdays, holidays or to assist the child financially.  It is not uncommon to encounter confusion between the federal gift tax regulations with the Medicaid regulations, which are two entirely distinct sets of rules. Many people are familiar with the annual exclusion found at § 2503(b) of the Internal Revenue Code, which allows an individual to gift without a gift tax consequence, up to the sum of $14,000.00 annually [...]

By |2018-06-28T12:44:56-04:00December 22nd, 2017|Blog, Law Update, Medicaid|

Republican Tax Plan Permits Grandparents to Establish 529 Plans

Republican Tax Plan Will Permit Grandparents To Establish 529 Plans for Grandchild's K-12 Private School Education The Republican tax plan that was finalized on Friday and expected to become law by the end of the year, contains many provisions that arguably benefit wealthier families.  One of the new provisions involves changes to 529 plan funding.  Under current law, tax-free 529 college savings accounts can be used only to pay for college.  But the Republican proposal allows parents or grandparents to use that money — up to $10,000 a year per child [...]

By |2017-12-29T13:24:45-05:00December 16th, 2017|Blog, Law Update|

Are Non-Attorney Medicaid Advisors Engaging in the Unlicensed Practice of Law?

Practicing law without a license in the State of New Jersey is a crime, subject to prosecution.   On May 16, 2016, New Jersey’s Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law, which is appointed by its Supreme Court, issued an opinion concerning permissible and impermissible activities of non-lawyer Medicaid advisors, including so-called “Application Assistors.” The Committee held that only a lawyer may provide legal advice on issues such as strategies for Medicaid eligibility, including provisions of wills and powers of attorney; on the need for guardianships and the authority to transfer assets; on nursing [...]

By |2016-05-22T14:29:41-04:00May 22nd, 2016|Blog, Law Update|

New Procedures for PA Home and Community Care Medicaid Applications

Pennsylvania's Aging Waiver Program is a Medicaid eligible program that covers home and community care and related services.  Effective April 1, 2016, Maximus is the Enrollment Broker for all of the Waiver Programs.  The below article written by elder law attorney, Dana Breslin, with contribution form elder law attorney, Leslie Wizelman, sets for the new procedure for enrolling in the PA Aging waiver program effective April 1, 2016. PA Aging Waiver Application Process

By |2016-04-25T06:59:00-04:00April 25th, 2016|Aging, Blog, Elder Care, Law Update, Medicaid|

2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures

The Alzheimer's Association has published its 2016 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures.  The updated statistics regarding the financial impact of caring for someone with Alzheimer's Disease and related dementia should be eye opening.  You can read the updated report at the below link. 2016 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures

By |2016-04-10T13:01:10-04:00April 10th, 2016|Aging, Blog, Caregiver, Elder Care, Family, Health Law, Law Update|

Families Need Help Navigating the Long-Term Care System

Our goal, as an elder care law firm, is to help families navigate the long-term care process when caring for a chronically disabled loved one.  An unfortunate example of the complicated long-term care health system is illustrated in a February 7, 2016 article in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Pennsylvania resident, Charles  Prozzillo, a dialysis patient due to kidney failure, required  ambulance transportation three days per week to a dialysis facility.  Prior to December 2014, the transportation was covered by Medicare.  In December 2014, Medicare began a pilot program in Pennsylvania to cut down [...]

NJ ABLE Act Signed Into Law

On January  11, 2016, Governor Christie signed the New Jersey ABLE Act into law.  The law is not scheduled to take effect until October 2016. Under the Achieving A Better Life Experience (ABLE) program, persons who become disabled before age 26 can open an ABLE account, and become the beneficiary of that account.  The beneficiary and their family or friends can contribute up to the amount of the annual gift tax exclusion to an ABLE account (currently $14,000 per year).  The ABLE account holds that money, and is managed and [...]

By |2016-01-29T14:44:52-05:00January 17th, 2016|Blog, Caregiver, Family, Law Update, Medicaid, Social Security, Special Needs Trust|

Pennsylvania Medicaid Penalty Divisor Increased to $9,198.61

The Pennsylvania Medicaid penalty divisor is revised each year as nursing facility care costs increase.  Effective January 1, 2016, the penalty divisor is set at $302.42 per day and $9,198.61 per month. ($302.42 x 365 / 12 = $9,198.61).  These 2016 divisor amounts represent an increase of approximately 3% from the 2015 figures of $293.15 and $8,916.65. Uncompensated transfers made during the five year look-back period will be calculated at one day of ineligibility for every $302.42 transferred away. In Pennsylvania, transfers penalties will be imposed when the value [...]

By |2016-01-29T14:44:17-05:00January 10th, 2016|Blog, Law Update, Medicaid, Nursing Home|

Announcing Rothkoff Law Group’s 2016 Focus on the Professional Seminar Series

We want to thank all of our clients, their families, and professional friends and colleagues who have made our elder care firm seminars so successful by attending our Professional and Caregiver Seminar Series over previous years.  We are proud to announce our 2016 seminar series for long term care professionals.  We will continue to offer continuing education credits to social workers, case managers and administrators in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  Seminars  are scheduled in the morning, afternoon, and early evening (for our popular dinner seminars) to best accommodate your schedule. Please click [...]

2016 Elder Law Numbers

2016 Elder Law Numbers The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the new Medicare premiums, deductibles, and co-payments for 2016: Basic Part B premium: $104.90/month * (no change from 2015) Part B deductible: $166 (was $147 in 2015) Part A deductible: $1,288 (was $1,260 in 2015) Co-payment for hospital stay days 61-90: $322/day (was $315 in 2015); Co-payment for hospital stay days 91-150: $644/day (was $630 in 2015) All costs for each day beyond 150 days Skilled nursing facility co-payment, days 21-100: $161/day (was $157.50 in [...]

By |2016-01-29T14:43:48-05:00December 27th, 2015|Blog, Law Update|

The Zahner Decision – Court Approves Use of Medicaid Compliant Annuities

Since the passage of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (“DRA”), the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (“Department”) has attempted to limit the use of annuities in the asset protection strategy known as “half-a-loaf” gifting.  Half-a-loaf gifting is a technique used to reduce a Medicaid applicant’s resources by gifting one-half of his or her resources to a family member, usually a son or daughter, and using the remaining one-half to purchase a DRA compliant annuity. The applicant becomes eligible for Medicaid because he or she has no resources and [...]

By |2015-10-18T14:59:47-04:00October 18th, 2015|Aging, Assisted Living, Blog, Elder Care, Law Update, Medicaid, Nursing Home|
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