A new Medicare rule will promote earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. Medicare will now reimburse primary care doctors who conduct an Alzheimer's evaluation and offer information about care planning to elderly patients with cognitive impairment. According to the Alzheimer's Association, more than 5 million Americans have the disease. In addition, more than 85 percent of Alzheimer's patients also have another chronic condition. But many are unaware that they have Alzheimer's disease because [...]

Medicare News: Beware of hospital "Observation Status" Classification Increasingly, hospital patients are finding that they have been deemed to be "ObservationOutpatients," although they have been cared for in the hospital for many days. The"outpatient" classification is often a surprise to patients, who do not realize their status untilthe patient is getting ready to leave the hospital.Why does this matter? When hospital patients are classified as outpatients on ObservationStatus, they may be [...]

Finding love later in life may be unexpected and exciting, but should it lead to marriage? The considerations are much different for an older couple with adult children and retirement plans than for a young couple just starting out. Before deciding whether to get married or just live together, you need to look at your estate plan, your Social Security benefits, and your potential long-term care needs, among other things. Here are some things to think about: Estate Planning. Getting married [...]

Taxpayers with long-term care insurance policies can deduct some of their premiums from their income. Whether you can use the deduction requires comparing your medical expenses to your income in a complicated formula. Premiums for qualified long-term care insurance policies are tax deductible to the extent that they, along with other unreimbursed medical expenses (including Medicare premiums), exceed 10 percent of the insured's adjusted gross income. In tax year 2016, taxpayers 65 and older [...]

The Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, federal legislation that allows people with disabilities to create their own special needs trusts instead of having to rely on others, is now law. The measure was included in the 21st Century Cures Act, a $6.3 billion package of health-related initiatives signed by President Obama on December 13, 2016. The Fairness Act, introduced in 2013 by Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.), fixes an especially frustrating drafting error in the Social Security Act that has [...]

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