Coronavirus Stimulus Checks: Everything you need to know to receive the funds

The first wave of coronavirus stimulus payments of up to $1,200 apiece are on their way, arriving in bank accounts through set up direct deposit with the IRS.  Up to 150 million US residents may qualify for a payment. If you haven't yet received your one-time payment and haven't set up electronic funds transfer with the government, setting up direct deposit may help you get your money faster. Otherwise, you can expect a paper check in the mail. Is the money yours, free and clear? Yes. You don't have [...]

By |2020-04-20T18:50:27-04:00April 20th, 2020|Aging, Blog, Law Update, Medicaid|

Update on COVID-19 Related Policy Changes or Medicare Changes

Under the CARES Act signed into law on March 27, the Medicare related provisions of the bill include: Significant expansion of telehealth services that can substitute for certain visits that usually require in-person visits with health care providers, such as remote patient monitoring for home health services, hospice recertification, and nephrologist visits for those using home dialysis; Allowing physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and other professionals to order home health services for beneficiaries; Waiving the Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF) 3-hour rule, which requires that a beneficiary be expected to participate [...]

By |2020-04-06T08:59:19-04:00April 6th, 2020|Blog, Medicaid|

Reflections on the 6th Annual National Voices of Medicare Summit and Senator Jay Rockefeller Lecture

On May 9, 2019, members of the Rothkoff Law team including Jerry Rothkoff, Bryan Adler, Roxanne Crowley, Kaitlin Dirxx, and Chelsea Ganssle traveled to Washington, DC to attend the Center for Medicare Advocacy’s sixth annual National Voices of Medicare Summit and Senator Jay Rockefeller Lecture at the Kaiser Family Foundation.  The theme of the day was Health Care as a Human Right: Medicare’s Role in Making it a Reality. The Summit convened advocates, leading experts, and policy-makers to discuss access to quality health care for all, the challenges and [...]

By |2020-02-07T11:28:53-05:00May 20th, 2019|Blog, Medicaid, Medicare|

2019 Elder Law Numbers

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the new Medicare premiums, deductibles, and co-payments for 2019:• Basic Part B premium: $135.50/month (was $134.00 in 2018)• Part B deductible: $185 ($183.00 in 2018)• Part A deductible: $1,364 (was $1,340 in 2018)• Co-payment for hospital stay days 61-90: $341/day (was $335 in 2018); Co-paymentfor hospital stay days 91-150: $682/day (was $670 in 2018)• All costs for each day beyond 150 days• Skilled nursing facility co-payment, days 21-100: $170.50/day (was $167.50 in 2018)Also, note that individuals with annual incomes [...]

By |2020-02-07T11:52:51-05:00December 31st, 2018|Blog, Medicaid, Medicare|

Protecting Nursing Homes and Their Residents

The nursing home admission process can be a daunting process for elders and their families. Unfortunately, some nursing homes are compounding the difficult process by referring residents and their families to non-attorney unlicensed Medicaid advisors. Non-lawyer Medicaid advisors can include financial advisors, geriatric care managers, disbarred attorneys, former nursing home employees, and a variety of other untrained and unlicensed individuals. The growing trend in the use of unlicensed, non-lawyer Medicaid advisors raises ethical and legal issues for both the Medicaid advisors and those who refer to such individuals. Should [...]

By |2020-02-07T11:55:18-05:00November 26th, 2018|Blog, Medicaid, Nursing Home|

Medicare to Implement Financial Penalties For Nursing Homes with High Hospital Readmission Rates Effective October 1, 2018

Modeled after a program that encourages low readmission rates to hospitals, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will introduce a new financial incentive program effective October 1, 2018 for skilled nursing facilities. CMS will withhold 2% of a facility’s Medicare reimbursement until they have shown that they can keep down the number of their residents who return to a hospital within 30 days of discharge. What does this mean for nursing home residents?  In theory, the new regulations will improve nursing home discharge planning by making nursing [...]

By |2020-02-21T11:30:40-05:00October 1st, 2018|Blog, Medicaid, Medicare|

Medicare Advantage Plans Expanded Coverage of Health Related Benefits

Medicare Advantage Plans Expanded Coverage of Health Related Benefits – Does it Create Further Health Care Disparities? Last month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded how it defines the term “primarily health related” benefits that insurers are permitted to include in their private Medicare Advantage plans.  Insurers would include these extra health related benefits in addition to what traditional Medicare covers.  These benefits may include transportation to doctors, home modifications, better food options, or home care aides.  Of the 61 million people enrolled in Medicare, 20 [...]

By |2018-05-07T11:28:52-04:00May 7th, 2018|Blog, Medicaid|

10 Things to Know About Your New Medicare Card

Starting in April 2018 Medicare will begin mailing new cards out to those enrolled. In preparation, CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) has outlined 10 things to know about your new Medicare card. Click here to see the full link or view the pdf below.      

By |2018-02-12T15:14:23-05:00February 16th, 2018|Blog, Medicaid, Medicare|

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|

The Importance of Medicaid to Overall Healthcare

I am not I favor of the proposed Senate healthcare bill in its current form.  However, I believe there is some good news that has come out of the debate on the healthcare bill.  The current debate has brought out the importance of Medicaid to many lower and middle class families.  It is my hope that those charged with formulating and voting on whatever bill is finalized will hear the voices of millions of Americans. There is no question Obamacare needs improvement.  However, the improvement should be based on a review of the entire healthcare [...]

By |2017-08-21T09:45:32-04:00July 2nd, 2017|Blog, Medicaid|

NJ Medicaid Penalty Divisor Increased To $423.95/day

Effective April 1, 2017, the State of New Jersey has increased the Medicaid penalty divisor to $423.95 per day.  This means that for every about $13,000.00 that is gifted within the Medicaid five year look back, New Jersey will impose a one month period of Medicaid ineligibility. The Medicaid divisor increased from $332.50 per day to $423.95 per day, an increase of almost $3,000 per month.  In other words, an individual engaging in Medicaid planning can protect an additional almost $3,000  per month compared to the previous divisor figure. If you have any [...]

By |2017-05-20T21:13:13-04:00May 20th, 2017|Blog, Medicaid|

New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Issues Warning About Unlicensed Medicaid Advisors

The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs protects the public from fraud, deceit and misrepresentation in the sale of goods and services.  The Division has developed Consumer Briefs to educate consumers about emerging frauds and topics that affect their daily lives. On March 23, 2017, the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs published a Consumer Brief on Medicaid Application Assistors.  These Medicaid Application Assistors or Medicaid Advisors are unlicensed, unregulated, non-attorney individuals and companies who assist a Medicaid applicant  for a fee.  The Division advises that consumers do their due diligence prior to [...]

By |2017-04-02T07:42:43-04:00April 2nd, 2017|Blog, Medicaid|

Fighting the Medicaid Transfer Penalty

If a Medicaid applicant gives away assets without receiving fair market value in return during the five year Medicaid look back period, a Medicaid penalty period for the uncompensated transfer of assets will generally result.  The Medicaid penalty period runs prospectively from the date the applicant is determined otherwise eligible for Medicaid. As a practical matter, the Medicaid transfer penalty means that Medicaid will deny payment for your long-term care until the penalty expires. What are your options? First, consider returning all of the transferred property. If this is [...]

By |2018-06-28T12:46:03-04:00March 10th, 2017|Blog, Medicaid|

Leading Senior and Disability Advocacy Groups Speak Out Against Medicaid Block Grants and Per-Capita Caps

Last week, the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Justice in Aging, the Medicare Rights Center, and 97 other national organizations sent a letter to Congressional leadership expressing grave concerns with proposals that would radically change Medicaid—a vital safety net that provides quality health care and services for millions of Americans, including 10 million older adults and people with disabilities who are eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare. Recent proposals put forward in Congress would completely restructure Medicaid’s finances, eligibility, and availability. Two ways of restructuring the program have risen to prominence: [...]

By |2017-03-05T09:56:43-05:00March 5th, 2017|Blog, Medicaid|

Medicaid Caregiver Child Transfer of Real Estate Exception – Does it Exist in New Jersey?

In many cases, laws exist in order to encourage citizens to act in ways that benefit public policy. Medicaid long term care laws are no exception. Under Federal Medicaid law, in some cases, a Medicaid applicant’s home can be transferred to a caregiver child exempt from Medicaid’s five-year look back rule.  The law exists to encourage children to take care of their parents at home instead of the parent being transferred to a nursing home.  The law in essence rewards the child’s caregiving efforts by enabling the child to [...]

By |2016-06-25T08:58:40-04:00June 25th, 2016|Blog, Medicaid|
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