Nursing home residents do not automatically have to sell their homes in order to qualify for Medicaid, but that doesn't mean the house is completely protected. The state will likely put a lien on the house while the resident is living and attempt to recover the property after the resident has passed away. Medicaid will not count a nursing home resident's home as an asset when determining eligibility for Medicaid as long as the resident intends to return home.  In addition, the resident's [...]


After small or no increases the past couple of years, Medicare’s Part B premium will rise sharply in 2020. The basic monthly premium will increase $9.10, from $135.50 a month to $144.60. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the premium increase on November 8, 2019. Not everyone will pay the whole increase, however. Due to a "hold harmless" rule around 70 percent of Medicare recipients' premiums will not increase more than Social Security benefits, and Social [...]


Medicare's Open Enrollment Period, during which you can freely enroll in or switch plans, runs from October 15 to December 7. Don't let this period slip by without shopping around to see whether your current choices are the best ones for you. During this period you may enroll in a Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan or, if you currently have a plan, you may change plans. In addition, during the seven-week period you can return to traditional Medicare (Parts A and B) from a Medicare [...]


The Social Security Administration has announced a 1.6 percent increase in benefits in 2020, nearly half of last year's change. The small rise has advocates questioning whether the government is using the proper method to calculate the cost of living for older Americans and those with disabilities. Cost-of-living increases are tied to the consumer price index, and a modest upturn in inflation rates and gas prices means Social Security recipients will get only a small boost in 2020. The 1.6 [...]


Everyone has heard the terms "will" and "trust," but not everyone knows the differences between the two. Both are useful estate planning devices that serve different purposes, and both can work together to create a complete estate plan. One main difference between a will and a trust is that a will goes into effect only after you die, while a trust takes effect as soon as you create it. A will is a document that directs who will receive your property at your death and it appoints a legal [...]


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