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Life Settlement Advisors
November 5, 2019

 

Did you know you can sell all or a portion of a life insurance policy, even term insurance?

(4 minute read)

When an older family member needs care to get through their day, many families want to provide that care themselves. Not only can this keep the family member in their home where they are comfortable, it can cut down on the medical costs associated with their condition. In fact, family caregivers for older relatives can even get support from Medicaid if they take the right approach. Here’s more you may like to know about caregiver funding under Medicaid and how someone might qualify.

Informal Caregivers and Family Caregivers in America

According to the AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving, 34.2 million Americans have provided care to another adult aged 50 or older in the last 12 months. Around 40% of those, over 15 million people, are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementia. It’s estimated that all this family caregiving for seniors has an economic value of $470 billion or more!

96% of these people are helping with personal hygiene, dressing and undressing, medications, transportation, and more. 45% take on more critical nursing and medical tasks. You might be surprised to learn 15% take care of a friend or neighbor, not a relative.

Many amazing people take on these tasks because they feel motivated to do so from the heart. Sometimes, it’s also because insurance won’t cover or pay for a professional caregiver. So, what can the informal caregiver expect from Medicaid?

Getting Family and Friends Reimbursed by Medicaid

Every state and the District of Columbia has its own state Medicaid personal assistance program. These are also called regular Medicaid and are one option to get paid to provide care to an elder family member or friend. It is a feature of many of these plans that the insured person can hire, train, and manage the caregiver of their choice. This allows informal caregivers like family to be officially recognized by Medicaid.

It’s important to know each state will have a different name for its Medicaid offering. Overall, if your state has a 1915 (i) plan or a 1915 (j) authority, these types of plans allow some of the most freedom to hire a family member as a caregiver through Medicaid. Some of the programs even help with taxes and other features of getting paid to provide care for an elder family member.

But it’s important to remember, Medicaid eligibility is based on income, not age. If your elderly loved one is 65 or older, they will qualify for Medicare, but these programs are not the same thing.  Since each state has unique income or medical eligibility requirements to qualify for Medicare, it’s unlikely a family caregiver will qualify right out the gate. Additional training, certification, or vetting and investigation by Medicaid may be required. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has resources about how to get started.

How to Apply to be a Medicaid Caregiver for Elder Family

The first step to apply to get funding to take care of an older senior citizen is to make sure they are enrolled in Medicaid. Once you know that individual qualifies for the services that are needed, you can start the application process with your state office. Even if a senior loved one isn’t automatically eligible for Medicaid, you can work with a Medicaid planner to see how they might become eligible. This approach could include “spending down” income or reducing assets to meet the income requirement for Medicaid eligibility.

Getting positioned to be paid by Medicaid as a caregiver or helping a family member or friend get certified so they can help you with less stress, is a great benefit for older Americans in need. However, it’s also not a process that happens overnight. When funds are needed, one answer might be a life settlement. You can sell some or all of an unneeded life insurance policy in a life settlement, even term life insurance. Not only does this get you a greater lump sum than you would get from surrendering the policy, it also means you no longer have to pay the premium on the policy. If you think a life settlement might be a good financial solution for you, visit our calculator to see if you qualify. Contact us today to learn more.

Leo LaGrotte
Life Settlement Advisors
llagrotte@lsa-llc.com
1-888-849-0887

Code: WealthCare

Life Settlement Advisors
October 9, 2019

 

Medicare often settles the question for seniors of whether to buy or rent medical equipment. The insurer does cover equipment like scooters, stair lifts, wheelchairs, hospital beds, and more. Sometimes the program will only pay for equipment to be rented, other times to be purchased. But when individuals are faced with the need to acquire their own durable medical equipment, the question of renting vs buying medical equipment is influenced by some of the factors below.

  1. How Long is Medical Equipment Needed?

The first factor influencing a rent vs buy decision about medical equipment is how long it is needed. As chronic conditions become more common, it’s more likely these devices are needed long-term. But if you only temporarily need a motorized scooter to use a few months while recovering from surgery, renting is potentially wiser than buying. At the same time, you may decide to buy based on the answer to our second question.

  1. Can You Resell or Donate the Equipment?

Another factor to consider between renting durable medical equipment or buying durable medical equipment is if your purchase could be resold later. If you can get a return on the value of the purchase, you may end up using the equipment for free yourself after you sell it. There’s also the option of donating the equipment for a tax deduction.

  1. Is Equipment Staying in One Place?

Bigger medical equipment like a stair lift, tub lift, or hospital bed is usually only sensible to purchase when you know you will be staying in one place. If you’ll be moving between a few houses  throughout the year or have other plans to travel, renting the equipment at each location will spare you the hassle of moving it and the potential for needed repairs.

  1. Is the Durable Medical Equipment Hard to Maintain?

Lastly, consider the expense of maintaining and repairing durable medical equipment. This includes the expense of lost time or quality of life. If a scooter or stair lift you rely on to leave the house ends up breaking, the luxury of renting the machinery is, you have someone on-call who is under contract to help.

Whether renting or buying the equipment, the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 20% of an elderly person’s medical expenses are paid out of pocket, on average. Once people get over the age of 70, that number can double or more.  Individuals looking to purchase the medical equipment that maintains their active quality of life may be looking for options to liquidate assets.

Did you know you can sell all or a portion of a life insurance policy, even term insurance? Selling an unwanted life insurance policy is no different than selling your car, home or any other valuable asset that will create immediate cash. Contact us today to learn more.

Leo LaGrotte
Life Settlement Advisors
llagrotte@lsa-llc.com
1-888-849-088

Website:  https://www.lsa-llc.com/

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Taxbot
October 9, 2019

If we are lucky enough to live a long life, we probably will need someone around to the house to help us with various activities, However, when it comes to hiring home care workers, there is little information available as to what to look for in evaluating what we need and who to hire. Thus, I thought I would do a post on this that should be very helpful in evaluating what we should do for our parents or even ourselves when we can’t perform the normal activities required of life. Here is a useful checklist that you should disseminate and print out:

1Establish your needed requirements: Before you start any search, it is important to take a step back and think about what you will really need. Does your mom, for example, want a female attendant or a Spanish speaking caregiver? Do they need someone with a driver’s license or with experience dealing with dementia patients? If you just need companionship, you probably don’t need an RN. However, if you need a worker who can perform some clinical tasks such as wound care, changing catheters,etc., you might need someone who has more training.

Do you need someone for only 8 hours a day or do you need someone around longer? Again, this is a very important step and should be considered very carefully before you do anything.

2Evaluate using an agency vs a direct hire: A home health care agency can cost $20-$40 an hour vs a direct hire that can cast at one-third to half this cost; however, an agency has some advantages. If the worker gets sick or doesn’t show up (which happens more frequently that most people realize), the agency can send over a replacement. If you need someone with a variety of skills, an agency will make it easier to find someone with those skills. An agency will also check the background of the worker, verify his or her training and handle the employment paperwork, which can take some administrative tasks off your hands.

Note: You will need to work with a Medicare – certified home health agency if you want Medicare to cover your care. 

You can find agencies that offer home health care services by simply going to “Google” and searching for them. Some organization sites that list some agencies would be: 

a. eldercare.act.gov
b. medicare.gov/homehealthcompare
c. alz.org
d. cancer.org
e. carelinx.com
f. caregiver.org/background-checking-resources-help

3Monitoring the situation becomes crucial: Assuming you have found the right caregiver, you need to monitor the relationship to make sure that it is working for both parties. If you don’t live nearby, you can use “smart home” technology. This can include smart speakers, video devices, Alternatively, you can use the low tech route that I did with my dad in simply having a friend or neighbor stop in unannounced. Someone has to check in if you can’t be there.

Sandy Botkin - Co-founder at Taxbot

 
Sandy is a CPA, Tax Attorney, and former IRS trainer. He has authored many helpful books on the subject of taxes, including 7 Simple Ways to Legally Avoid Paying Taxes ( Click Here ), Lower Your Taxes: Big Time ( Click Here ), and Real Estate Tax Secrets of the Rich ( Click Here ).

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