Planning for Life

What Would the House Tax Bill Mean for Seniors?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on November 7, 2017

By Harry S. Margolis

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Perhaps we shouldn't be concerned with the House Republicans' proposed tax bill. With no Democratic support, a slim Republican majority in both houses, and a somewhat more moderate Republican majority in the Senate, it is unlikely to become law in its current form, if at all. On the other hand, the Republicans need a victory and will do everything they can to pass the law in something close to its current form.

So, what does it mean for seniors and people with disabilities? The two largest impacts would probably result from the projected loss of tax revenue and the elimination of the medical expense deduction.

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Topics: Medicare, income taxes, seniors, Medicaid

Reminder: There is No Such Thing as a Medicare "Improvement" Standard

Posted by Anthony Bushu on March 8, 2017

By Harry S. Margolis

hospital-discharge-protections-medicare-legal-guide.pngFor decades Medicare, skilled nursing facilities and visiting nurse associations have applied the so-called "improvement" standard in determining whether residents were entitled to Medicare coverage of the care. The standard, which can be found nowhere in Medicare law, only permitted coverage if the skilled treatment was deemed to contribute to improving the patient's condition, which can be difficult to achieve for many ill seniors.

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Topics: Medicare, nursing homes

Announcing the Creation of the Trump Policy Analysis Group Focusing on Older Americans and Individuals with Special Needs

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on December 7, 2016

Five leading elder law attorneys have created theTrump Policy Analysis Group (TPAG)[1] to consider probable changes in law that will affect older Americans and those with special needs.  Initially TPAG will focus on entitlements, public benefits, tax, special needs planning, and veterans’ benefits.

TPAG Members and Experience

Michael Gilfix of Palo Alto, California, A. Frank Johns of Greensboro, North Carolina, Harry S. Margolis of Boston, Tim Nay of Portland, Oregon, and Vincent J. Russo of Long Beach, New York, together have over 160 years experience advising individuals and families and Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, tax, long-term care, veterans’ benefits, and special needs planning.  They are established authors, speakers, and experts and include founders and leaders of national organizations, including the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, addressing the needs of aging and vulnerable populations.

Following is their initial analysis.

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Topics: Medicare, social security, income taxes, capital gains taxes, estate taxes, Medicaid

What Does a Trump Presidency Mean to Estate and Long-Term Care Planning?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on November 22, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

The election of Donald Trump along with Republican control of both houses of Congress undoubtedly will impact tax and benefit laws that affect citizens in their personal lives and in their estate and long-term care planning. The question is how? We can't answer for certain since during his campaign the president-elect stayed away from specific policy proposals. But there's still a lot we can glean both from what he has said and from Republican policies, especially those of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. On the domestic front, Ryan appears much more radical than Trump in many ways.

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Topics: Medicare, social security, MassHealth, capital gains taxes, capital gains, estate taxes, Medicaid

What to Do About Medicare Observation Status

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on October 27, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

As we have reported before, hospitals are more and more frequently designating patients as being in the facility for observation only without admitting them as full hospital patients. The problem with this has to do with the source of payment under Medicare and ultimately whether subsequent care in a skilled nursing facility will be Medicare covered.

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Topics: Medicare, residents rights

Is Increased Medicare Spending on Hospice Care Good or Bad?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on February 4, 2014

By Harry S. Margolis

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Topics: Medicare

Cure vs. Care: The Whacked Out World of Medicare Reimbursement

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on December 31, 2013

By Harry S. Margolis

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Topics: Medicare, end-of-life

Social Security, Medicare and Tax Adjustments in 2014

Posted by Sarah Foster on December 6, 2013

By Sarah Foster

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Topics: Medicare, social security

Attorney Reprimanded For Failure to Properly Settle Case

Posted by Christina T. Vidoli on October 11, 2013

By Christina T. Vidoli

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Topics: Medicare, personal injury settlement

What is Settlement Planning?

Posted by Rachel Sandler on September 20, 2013

By Rebecca J. Benson

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Topics: Medicare, special needs planning, MassHealth, personal injury settlement

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