Planning for Life

States Experiment on Long-Term Care, But Where's Massachusetts?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on September 3, 2019

By Harry S. Margolis

Long-term-care-margolis-and-bloomIn an recent article in The Boston Globe, "As costs mount, states scramble for new ways to pay for late-in-life care," reporter Robert Weisman describes initiatives in states around the country to pay for the growing costs of caring for seniors around the country. While the average cost of care for older Americans will be $266,000 according to one projection, only 7% of Americans over age 50 have long-term care insurance. This huge gap falls both on individual families and state Medicaid programs, MassHealth in Massachusetts.

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

4 Ways to Protect Your House from MassHealth Estate Recovery: Part 1

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on December 15, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

In most instances, you can own a home and still get MassHealth coverage of your health or long-term care. While MassHealth has strict income and asset limits on eligibility, in most cases it doesn't count the home against those limits. On the other hand, as I often say, while they don't get you coming, they will get you going. If you sell the house either during your life or upon your death, MassHealth will seek to recover its costs of paying for your care.

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

Millionaires on Medicaid? - Massachusetts

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on March 4, 2014

By Harry S. Margolis

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

LTCI - MassHealth Issues Clarified

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on November 5, 2013

By Harry S. Margolis

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

How Much Do You Need to Retire? — Massachusetts

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on October 15, 2013

By Harry S. Margolis

How much money you need "in the bank" when you retire depends on many factors, including the following:

  • Living standards. How much money will you need each month to live the way you want to live? Does that include travel? A second home? Gifts or support to children and grandchildren? Create a budget as a starting point, and then assume that it will increase at least 3 percent per year to account for likely inflation.

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Topics: MassHealth planning, long-term care insurance, Estate Planning, Retirement Planning

Buy Long-Term Care Insurance with Long Elimination Period

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on April 11, 2013

By Harry S. Margolis


Several years ago, I met with Steve Samuel of Samuel Financial in Dedham. He had a tip about buying long-term care insurance (LTCI) which made a lot of sense to me.EasySite A4278Y  uploads samuelfinancialgroup 2012 3

Most people are deterred from buying LTCI due to the high cost of the premiums (and the hope that they'll never need it). The level of the premiums is based on a number of factors, including:

  • Your age.

  • Your health.

  • The daily benefit you choose—such as $200 or $300 a day.

  • The length of coverage you choose—such as two or five years.

  • Whether you purchase an inflation rider—so that the daily benefit increases each year by a set percentage.

  • The elimination period—the amount of time you need to qualify for benefits in terms of the care you need before the LTCI policy begins to pay out.

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Topics: long-term care insurance

Beware Bankers Life Long-Term Care Insurance - Massachusetts

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on January 7, 2012

By Harry S. Margolis

Since we first published this post in 2012, our clients have had both good and bad experiences with accessing their long-term care insurance. In general, the more solid the company, the better the experience. Fortunately, many of the less solid companies have left the business, but older policies with them still exist and they continue to put up roadblocks to getting coverage, often claiming to have lost paperwork that was sent to them.

We have found that tenacity and keeping good records of every contact with these companies ultimately results in coverage. Sometimes a letter from an attorney is also necessary. Of course, all of this is a terrible burden to place on families already overstretched, doing their best to care for an ailing family member.

Here's the post:

A recent article on the CBS News website, "Some long-term healthcare policies not paying up," highlights the difficulties many owners of Bankers Life long-term care insurance policies are having trouble collecting. As the article reports, and as some of our clients have experienced, Bankers Life typically gives policyholders a major run around when they make claims, often claiming not to have received documentation that has been sent in.

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Topics: long-term care insurance, Massachusetts

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