Happy New Year

The Law Offices of Jerold E. Rothkoff wishes you a very prosperous 2006. We begin the New Year with significant regulatory changes that will have an important impact on seniors and those with disabilities.

Of course, the new Medicare prescription drug benefit began January 1, 2006. The main article of our current newsletter, the Rothkoff Quarterly, which will be mailed this week, will be devoted to examining whether an individual should enroll in the Medicare drug plan.

Most importantly, the budget bill is currently pending in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill includes important changes that will have a dramatic impact on the senior and disabled population. The bill works to deny Medicaid eligibility to any individual who has transferred assets within five years of applying for benefits. Individuals will also be disqualified if a spouse has transferred assets within the five-year period. The House is expected to pass the bill within the next month. Once the President signs the bill, it will become effective immediately. Any transfers completed prior to the effective date of the law will be grandfathered under the old law, which has a three-year lookback period for most transfers and permits transfers within the three-year period.

Because of the pending changes, we urge all individuals considering planning to protect their life savings to do so immediately in order to be under the current law. However, even under the pending bill, there will still be opportunities for planning. We are diligently working to protect our clients. We will keep you updated as needed on the pending changes.

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