December 31, 2018
Dear Friend of the Firm:
We wish you and your families a happy and healthy New Year. I would like to take a few moments to reflect on the “year in elder care law” and update you on our elder care law firm.
Some of the highlights from the world of elder care law in 2018 include:
- Changes to VA “Aid and Attendance” Benefit – Effective October 18, 2018, the VA revised the eligibility rules for the VA Aid and Attendance Benefit. The VA added a look back period for asset transfers, established net worth limits, and added new medical expense deduction limitations. There is now a 36-month look-back period that penalizes a veteran (or a surviving spouse) for every $2,169.00 that is given away or transferred into a trust or annuity. Net worth will now include all assets plus annual gross income (minus unreimbursed, recurring medical expenses) and will be capped at the current CRSA, or community spousal resource allowance, which is $126,240 for 2019).
- Trusted Contact – Amid growing concerns about the financial exploitation of seniors, industry regulators have put an emphasis on protecting seniors. As a result, effective February 5, 2018, financial institutions, including all banks are now required to request that clients provide a “trusted contact” whom the bank or firm can contact for several reasons, including but not limited to possible fraud or if an account holder appears to be incapacitated. The trusted contact can be a family member, such as an adult son or daughter, whose contact information will appear on an investor’s account.
- Implementation of Nursing Home Readmission Penalties – Effective October 1, 2018, skilled nursing facilities face penalties for having too many patients readmitted to hospitals within a month of discharge. The goal of the new penalties is to encourage more effective discharge planning to prevent hospital readmissions.
From a firm perspective, we continue to attempt to provide the most knowledgeable elder care law team possible in order to continue to grow our advocacy for seniors and those with disabilities. In August 2018, we opened our sixth office in Radnor, PA. As the need continues to grow for elder care law and care coordination throughout the region it only made sense for the Rothkoff Law Group to open a convenient location for clients in Delaware County, Chester County and Montgomery County serving the entire Main Line region.
One of the highlights of our year was our Eldercare Symposium in both NJ and PA. Over 500 long-term care professionals attended and were inspired by the keynote speaker, Eloy van Hal, managing consultant & founder of The Hogeweyk, the world renowned dementia village in the Netherlands. We will be hosting our 2nd Annual Symposium for Eldercare Professionals in 2019. The theme is “Person Centered Eldercare: Transitioning Theories Into Practice”. The dates for the 2019 Symposium are April 11, 2019 in NJ, and October 24, 2019 in PA. The keynote speaker is Dr. Steven Sabat, PhD, a psychology professor at Georgetown University. Dr. Sabat focuses on neuropsychology and dementia, specifically the remaining cognitive and social abilities of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Please visit our website, www.rothkofflaw.com, for information on elder care law news, visit our blogs, information on our 2019 professional and caregiver seminars, as well as speaking engagements.
There are still many issues facing our country as a whole: potential changes to the Affordable Care Act, future changes to Medicare and Medicaid, accessibility to quality long-term care, and continued growth of the population over age sixty-five. There will no doubt be continued changes in our healthcare system in the way that services are delivered and paid for. This is certainly a challenging time and there still appears to be no good or new solutions for taking care of our population that is dealing with chronic care issues.
As we begin our 20th year advocating for seniors, we are always attempting to improve the services we offer. The success of our firm is a direct reflection of our clients and the referral sources that have supported us. Therefore, we actively welcome your referrals and encourage you to contact our office should you have any suggestions, questions or concerns regarding yourself or a loved one. On behalf of our entire elder care law office team, we wish you and your families a very prosperous and healthy 2019.
Jerold E. Rothkoff