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Long Term Care Insurance

Monday, January 11, 2016

Eileen Walsh published by American Bar Association

Eileen Walsh authored the article "HOW TO FUND LONG TERM CARE WITHOUT MEDICAID" in the December, 2015 publication of the American Bar Association Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division.  This is the first time that this national publication has devoted the entire contents of its publication to the area of elder law.  Eileen Walsh is the only Kentucky attorney and author represented in  this elder law publication.     


Friday, January 8, 2016

Veteran's Aid and Attendance Benefit

The VA Aid and Attendance eligibility rules are expected to change in 2016 and possibly even in the next 30 days.  We urge you to act now and get informed on this important earned benefit.  Don't wait.   If you or a loved one are a veteran or a surviving spouse of a veteran you need to know about this benefit, which can be used to pay for much needed care needs.  

Elder Law of Louisville is part of a national group tracking the day to day developments of proposed VA changes.  Our attorneys can provide information in an individual consultation or we can speak to your group or organization.     


Monday, January 4, 2016

Elder Law in Ireland

Eileen Walsh was part of a 12 person delegation of U.S. elder law attorneys who traveled to Ireland in November, 2015.  The U.S. delegation met with Irish attorneys and judges as well as Irish aging experts.  The issues of quality of life and care for  older persons are concerns worldwide.  These issues are not unique to the United States and invaluable knowledge and insight was gained by Eileen through interacting with her Irish counterparts.   She would love to share her experience.  Please contact our office to schedule a date for Eileen to come speak to your group about elder law and Ireland.  And be sure and wear some green! 


Monday, November 3, 2014

Remember Our Veterans November 11th

At Elder Law of Louisville we are honored to work with many veterans and their families.  Our own fathers served in the United States Marine Corp and the United States Air Force.  Please remember to thank all of our military personnel who served and continue to serve our country.  We plan to attend the Veterans Day Parade in downtown Louisville, Kentucky at 11:00 a.m. on November 11th.  Please join us!   

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

PBS Article: Americans Seriously Unprepared for Long-Term Care, Study Finds

Another article, this time published by PBS, detailing how unprepared we are for preparing for, financing, and dealing with long-term care...

Link to the article:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2013/04/as-boomers-age-most-woefully-unprepared-for-long-term-care.html

Text of the article:

 

Americans Seriously Unprepared for Long-Term Care, Survey Finds

By: Jason Kane

It's a classic case of denial. Roughly half of Americans above the age of 40 believe "almost everyone" is likely to require long-term care as they age. Just a quarter think they will need it for themselves.

The truth: 70 percent of Americans older than age 65 will need some form of long-term care.

That gap means most Americans are doing very little to plan and save for the assistance they'll desperately need in old age, according to a new poll from the The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

"It's rather surprising," said Jennifer Agiesta, director of polling for the Associated Press. "Very few people have arranged to pay for or even to think about their own needs. Most haven't even taken the basic step of talking to family members about their preferences."

The problem will only become worse as America grays, with the number of seniors expected to nearly double by the time the last of the baby boomers turn 65. In 2030, seniors are expected to make up 19 percent of the U.S. population -- up from 12 percent in 2000.

After interviewing 1,019 Americans aged 40 or older in the nationally representative survey, the pollsters highlighted several startling conclusions:

  • 52 percent said they had "a great deal or quite a bit of concern" about losing their independence and having to rely on others as they age.

  • 44 percent said they were moderately worried about being able to pay for the care they might need.

  • 35 percent had actually set aside money to pay for their long-term needs.

Click on the graphic below to see how concerned the survey participants were about various aging issues:

Why such rampant lack of planning? For one thing, Agiesta said, "people tend to guess wrong when they think about how much long-term care will cost them." They underestimate the costs of nursing home care, overestimate the cost of assisted living and "are all over the place when you ask them what the costs are for a home health care aid," she said.

To an equal extent, they believe Medicare has their backs. Close to half -- 44 percent -- expect Medicare to pay for ongoing care at home by a licensed home health care aide, and 37 percent believe it pays for ongoing care in a nursing home.

But it doesn't. As the AP-NORC report points out, Medicare only pays for "medically necessary care in a skilled nursing facility." In rare cases when home health care is approved, it's provided "under very limited circumstances and for brief stretches of time."

Meanwhile, 54 percent of the survey participants said they don't anticipate needing Medicaid, the largest payer for long-term care -- even though many of them lack confidence in their ability to pay for those same services as they age.

How much do Americans think their long-term care will cost? Click the graphic below to expand:

But the bigger issue may be that most Americans simply don't want to think about aging.

Nearly a third of those polled said they "would rather not think about getting older at all." When pressed, 52 percent said they had a "great deal" or "quite a bit" of concern about losing their independence and having to rely on others as they age. And 42 percent said they worried about having to leave their own home and move into a nursing home.

The survey found that "significant majorities" prioritize almost anything that will give them more independence. That includes purchasing homes with no stairs and living close to family members, health care services and stores. Nearly seven in 10 were confident they'll be able to rely on family members "a great deal" or "quite a bit" in a time of need.

What specific steps are Americans taking for long-term care? Click the graphic below to expand:

Even though most older Americans "aren't doing much" to prepare for their own long-term care, the vast majority are supportive of a program that would help them do so, Agiesta said.

Roughly three-quarters of those 50 and older -- a full 77 percent -- support tax breaks to encourage saving for ongoing living assistance, similar to a 401(k). Half favor a government-administered long-term care insurance program, like Medicare. And about a third support a requirement that individuals purchase long-term care insurance.

Click the graphic below to see public support levels for three proposed long-term care options:

Policy options aside, Agiesta said one of the biggest obstacles will be counter-acting the widespread belief among so many Americans that "other people are going to require much more care" than they will themselves.

"As they approach this age and this stage of life, people should be thinking more critically about what they're going to need," she said. "Because it's probably not that different than what everybody else is going to need."

The SCAN Foundation, which funded the AP-NORC survey, is an underwriter of the PBS NewsHour. Top photo by John Moore/Getty Images. All graphics were produced by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

 


Thursday, February 28, 2013

How to Pay for Nursing Home

US News has also provided an interesting, albeit it very general, article about financing a nursing home.  The article is interesting in that it hits home how likely it is that everyone will experience some financial hardship due to the cost of long term care, and just how much that hardship could be.

How does the article suggest to find an attorney to help you through the maze?  Contact your local bar association (the KY Bar Association) and find out who is speaking and presenting on these topics.

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/best-nursing-homes/articles/2013/02/26/how-to-pay-for-nursing-home-costs?page=2


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Listen to Whitney Wilson Talk Elder Law on FM 970, Sat, Nov. 10th, 1-2pm

Tune in to the Your Home & Life show on FM 970, Saturday, November 10th from 1-2pm to hear Whitney Wilson interviewed regarding elder law!


Monday, October 1, 2012

2012 Senior Day Out is Tuesday, Oct 9th

More than 1,800 seniors and disabled people are expected to gather for fun, food and fellowship on Tuesday at the 2012 Senior Day Out in Louisville.

Participants will enjoy a complimentary lunch, educational activities, health screenings, guest speakers, dancing, bingo and other activities.

Senior Day Out will be held from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Kentucky International Convention Center at Fourth and Market streets. People need to register in advance for the free lunch, but others are welcome to participate without the lunch.

Louisville Metro TRIAD is the host of the event, along with more than 30 other sponsors. It is expected to draw about 80 exhibitors and a variety of education and entertainment activities.

Attendees can learn about safety information, recreational activities, consumer protection and financial education, and take advantage of health screenings and flu shots. Music will be provided by the Street Heat Band, and the dance floor will be open.

Officials of Louisville Metro TRIAD, a grass-roots partnership among local law enforcement, representatives of senior groups, service providers and community volunteers, said they are committed to bringing valuable services and programs to seniors at this event — now in its 12th year.

“Senior Day Out is one of many ways we support Louisville area seniors, a population that is steadily growing,” said Cindy Venable, director of the Louisville Metro Office for Aging & Disabled Citizens. “Each year, many of this region’s key organizations pool their resources to create the most informative environment possible, which is one reason why this event is so successful.”

For more information, or to make lunch reservations, call the Office for Aging & Disabled Citizens at 574-5092.

 

Courtesy The Courier-Journal.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"The Practical Bucket List" by Marie Brady in Today's Transitions Magazine

Be sure to read the Winter 2011/2012 edition of Today's Transitions for a terrific article by Marie Bradby, "The Practical Bucket List" for tips on how to organize your affairs.  Here is a link:  http://www.todaystransitions.com/


Thursday, February 10, 2011

2011 Long Term Care Insurance Price Index

A 55-year-old individual can expect to pay $1,480 annually for $169,000 in current benefits, which would grow to $354,000 of coverage by age 80, according to the 2011 Long-Term Care Insurance Price Index, an annual report from the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, an industry group.

A 55-year-old couple purchasing long-term care insurance protection can expect to pay $2,350 a per year (combined) for about $338,000 of current benefits, which would grow to about $800,000 of combined coverage for the couple when they turn age 80. If the 55-year-old couple did not qualify for preferred health discounts, but rather for standard rates as a result of having one or more health issues, their cost would increase by $325 annually.

The study found that rates for comparable coverage from leading insurers could vary by between 41 and 48 percent.

According to Association research, three-fourths (78 percent) of long-term care insurance policies are bought by couples where either both or just one spouse purchases coverage. The average age for individual purchasers is 57, with some 76.3 percent of purchases made between ages 45 and 64 according to the Association's research.

The 2011 Price Index analyzed costs for couples at ages 55, 60 and 65. In addition, for the first time, the analysis included a 3 percent compound inflation growth factor versus the 5 percent formula that has been used in prior studies. "More purchasers are opting for this formula which significantly reduces the cost of coverage and can be quite adequate in terms of future benefits," said Jesse Slome, the association's executive director. The Price Index also looked at rates for policies including the newer Shared Care option whereby two policyholders can each access a combined pool of benefits.

The full Price Index will be available only in the Association's 2011 Long-Term Care Insurance guide.

 

Courtesy Elder Law Answers.


Monday, December 20, 2010

IRS Issues Long-Term Care Premium Deductibility Limits for 2011

Social Security benefits may be stagnant, but the IRS is increasing the amount you can deduct on your 2011 taxes as a result of buying long-term care insurance.

Premiums for "qualified" long-term care insurance policies (see explanation below) are tax deductible provided that they, along with other unreimbursed medical expenses, exceed 7.5 percent of the insured's adjusted gross income. These premiums -- what the policyholder pays the insurance company to keep the policy in force -- are deductible for the taxpayer, his or her spouse and other dependents. (If you are self-employed, the tax-deductibility rules are a little different: You can take the amount of the premium as a deduction as long as you made a net profit; your medical expenses do not have to exceed 7.5 percent of your income.)

However, there is a limit on how large a premium can be deducted, depending on the age of the taxpayer at the end of the year. Following are the deductibility limits for 2011. Any premium amounts for the year above these limits are not considered to be a medical expense.

Attained age before the close of the taxable year

Maximum deduction for year

40 or less

$340

More than 40 but not more than 50

$640

More than 50 but not more than 60

$1,270

More than 60 but not more than 70

$3,390

More than 70

$4,240

What Is a "Qualified" Policy?

To be "qualified," policies issued on or after January 1, 1997, must adhere to certain requirements, among them that the policy must offer the consumer the options of "inflation" and "nonforfeiture" protection, although the consumer can choose not to purchase these features. Policies purchased before January 1, 1997, will be grandfathered and treated as "qualified" as long as they have been approved by the insurance commissioner of the state in which they are sold.


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The attorneys of Elder Law of Louisville (formerly Walsh & Wilson, PLLC) assist clients in Louisville, Kentucky and surrounding counties of Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer, and Bullitt. Our Office also serves Southern Indiana and the towns of New Albany, Jeffersonville, and Clarksville.



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