Planning for Life

Three Decades of Elder Law: My, How It's Changed!

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on December 8, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

attorneys_emily.jpg

 

Emily Starr, one of the pioneers of elder law in Massachusetts, and I have been asked to appear on a panel at the annual meeting of the Massachusetts chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) this Thursday evening to discuss the history and prognosticate about the future of elder law in Massachusetts. Here are the major changes that I see:

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Topics: long-term care planning, growth of elderly population, MassHealth, elder law

Trust Reformation Causes MassHealth Penalty

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on November 3, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

The Massachusetts Court of Appeals in Needham v. Director of the Office of Medicaid (Mass. App. Ct. 14-P-182, October 20, 2015) rules that the reformation of a trust causes a period of ineligibility for MassHealth coverage of nursing home care.

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Topics: trusts, long-term care planning, nursing homes, MassHealth

Barreira Provides Guidance on MassHealth Appeals

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on May 19, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

At the most recent annual MCLE conference on elder and disability law (which I co-chaired), Brian Barreira of Plymouth provided advice on preparing for a MassHealth fair hearing,5809877 both in terms of being successful at the hearing and in order to build a strong record in case a 30A appeal to superior court becomes necessary. He was speaking in the context of much inconsistency by MassHealth in its treatment of irrevocable trusts and its practice of not explaining what it finds wrong in a trust until the fair hearing itself.

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Topics: MassHealth

VA Benefits for Home Care to be Restricted: Comment on Proposal Now.

Posted by Patricia C. D'Agostino on March 16, 2015

By Patricia C. D'Agostino

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Topics: MassHealth

The MassHealth PCA Program Can Pay Children to Care for Parents

Posted by Patricia C. D'Agostino on March 2, 2015

By Patricia C. D'Agostino

Adult children of seniors who need care at home can be caught in a difficult bind—wanting to provide the kind of substantial hands-on assistance that will permit a parent to remain at home instead of moving to a long-term care facility, but finding themselves unable to do so given their own financial need to work and the demands of their jobs.  The MassHealth Personal Care Attendant (“PCA”) program can offer a solution for many families who find themselves in this situation.  The PCA program can provide a person with approximately $13 per hour to pay a caregiver (including a child or other family member, so long as they are not the parent’s legal guardian or spouse).  

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Topics: Massachusetts, MassHealth

How Much Does MassHealth Pay Nursing Homes?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on January 20, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

Families of nursing home residents often want to know what MassHealth is paying for the care of their loved ones. This can be difficult to determine because the rates are different for each facility and for each patient, depending on his or her level of care. But it's important because MassHealth often has a right to recover its expenses at the death of the nursing home resident in the form of a claim for estate recovery against a home, as the beneficiary of an annuity, or under the terms of a (d)(4)(A) or (d)(4)(C) trust.It helps to know what to expect.

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Topics: long-term care planning, nursing homes, MassHealth

Premium Assistance from MassHealth for Private Health Insurance

Posted by Karen B. Mariscal on November 10, 2014

It seems that very few parents of intellectually disabled adult children aged 18-26 know about the MassHealth Standard/CommonHealth Premium Assistance Program, which can provide meaningful financial assistance to those who qualify.

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Topics: MassHealth

MassHealth Reversed in Another Trust Case

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on October 10, 2014

Over the last couple of years, MassHealth has been rejecting irrevocable trusts containing terms that it had accepted up until recently. Since many seniors use irrevocable trusts to shelter assets as part of long-term care planning, this has resulted in much uncertainty and cost due to the need for administrative and court appeals. Fortunately, as more cases have gone through the lengthy appeal process litigants are having increasing success in defending the trusts. We can report that my partner, Jeffrey A. Bloom, recently was successful in defending our standard irrevocable trust instrument at an administrative fair hearing.

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Topics: MassHealth planning, long-term care planning, MassHealth

Will MassHealth Take My House?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on June 24, 2014

By Harry S. Margolis

I'm often asked whether MassHealth "will take my house" or other assets. A recent posting on ElderLawAnswers.com, where I answers questions from consumers, reads in part:

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Topics: special needs planning, MassHealth, asset protection

Bipartisan Policy Center Working on Long-Term Care Proposal

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on May 6, 2014

By Harry S. Margolis

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Topics: long-term care planning, long-term care insurance, MassHealth

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