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January 2015 Archives

Medicaid Planning and 2015 Medicaid Numbers

When doing Medicaid or Medical Assistance planning (also known as long term care planning), it is helpful to know what figures are used by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (formerly the Department of Public Welfare) to determine when an individual is eligible for Medicaid.  These figures usually increase every year.  For 2015, DHS has increased many categories involved with Medicaid for Pennsylvania residents.  

Support for Caregivers

Long term care planning can often involve the use of family caregivers to provide services to older loved ones.  Who is a caregiver?  It could be anyone who helps an older person with medication, drives an older person to appointments, picks up groceries or prescriptions, or assists with bathing, dressing and cleaning.  Sometimes, caregivers need a little support, which is what a new program is designed to do.   

ABLE Accounts for Special Needs Individuals

As part of estate planning for special needs individuals and their families, supplemental needs trusts and special needs trusts have been around for years. Beginning in 2015, based on changes in the law, there is now another alternative for those who are deemed disabled prior to age 26 - special needs individuals may set up ABLE ("Achieving a Better Life Experience") accounts for themselves to assist in paying for qualified disability expenses. To be a beneficiary of an ABLE account, the individual, prior to age 26, must be entitled to benefits based on blindness or disability under the Social Security Disability program or under the Supplemental Security Income program or must file a disability certification with a medical diagnosis signed by a doctor with the IRS.

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