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Pandemic and Social Security

Will the Pandemic Affect My Social Security?

Will the Pandemic Affect My Social Security?

Kiplinger’s recent article entitled “Social Security Shocker: Pandemic to Reduce Benefits by 9% for Americans Turning 60 in 2020” explains that retirees can mitigate some of the damage, by waiting to claim their benefits. For every year you delay benefits past your full retirement age until age 70, you’ll receive an increased benefit of about 8%.

Eligibility for Social Security benefits requires a senior to have earned no less than 40 “credits.” You can earn up to four credits a year, so it takes 10 years of work to qualify for Social Security benefits. In 2020, you have to earn $1,410 to get one Social Security work credit and $5,640 to get the maximum four credits for the year.

Your benefit is based on the 35 years in which you earned the most amount of money. If you have fewer than 35 years of earnings, each year with no earnings is calculated as a zero. You can increase your benefit by swapping out those zero years, by working longer, even if it’s only part-time. However, don’t worry about a low-earning year replacing a higher-earning year. It won’t happen. The benefit isn’t based on 35 consecutive years of work, it’s based on your highest-earning 35 years. As a result, if you decide to ease into retirement by working part-time, you won’t wreck the amount of your Social Security benefit at all, if you have 35 years of higher earnings. If you earn more money, however, your benefit will be adjusted upward—despite the fact that you’re still working while taking your benefit.

There is a maximum benefit amount you can get. However, it depends on your age when you retire. If you retire at full retirement age this year, the maximum monthly benefit is $3,790.

In the past, a great perk of Social Security benefits was that every year, the government would adjust the benefit for inflation. This is called a cost-of-living adjustment, or “COLA.” It’s an inflation protection to help seniors keep up with rising living expenses during retirement.

The COLA is automatic and is quite valuable because purchasing inflation protection on a private annuity can be expensive.

The COLA is calculated based on changes in a federal consumer price index (CPI). The amount of the COLA depends largely on broad inflation levels determined by the federal government.

For 2021, Kiplinger anticipates that there won’t be a Social Security cost of living adjustment. That is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reference: Kiplinger (July 30, 2020) “Social Security Shocker: Pandemic to Reduce Benefits by 9% for Americans Turning 60 in 2020”

Read more related articles here:

How Will the Coronavirus Pandemic Affect Social Security?

Pandemic Could Impact Social Security Finances, COLAs

Also, read one of our previous Blogs at:

Would an Early Retirement and Early Social Security Be Smart?

Click here to check out our Master Class!

secure act

Do I Qualify as an Eligible Designated Beneficiary under the SECURE Act?

Do I Qualify as an Eligible Designated Beneficiary under the SECURE Act?

An eligible designated beneficiary (EDB) is a person included in a unique classification of retirement account beneficiaries. A person may be classified as an EDB, if they are classified as fitting into one of five categories of individuals identified in the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act. The bill passed in December 2019 and is effective for all inherited retirement accounts, as of the first of this year.

Investopedia’s recent article entitled “Eligible Designated Beneficiary” explains that these people get special treatment and greater flexibility to withdraw funds from their inherited accounts than other beneficiaries.

With the SECURE Act, there are now three types of beneficiaries. It is based on the individual’s connection to the original account owner, the beneficiary’s age, and his or her status as either an individual or a non-person entity. However, an EDB is always an individual. On the other hand, an EDB can’t be a trust, an estate, or a charity, which are considered not designated beneficiaries. There are five categories of individuals included in the EDB classification. These are detailed below.

In most instances, except for the exceptions below, an EDB must withdraw the balance from the inherited IRA account over the beneficiary’s life expectancy. There is optional special treatment allowed only for surviving spouses, which is explained below. When a minor child reaches the age of majority, he or she is no longer considered to be an EDB, and the 10-year rule concerning withdrawal requirements for a designated beneficiary applies.

Here are the five categories of EDBs.

Owner’s surviving spouse. Surviving spouses get special treatment, which lets them step into the shoes of the owner and withdraw the balance from the IRA over the original owner’s life expectancy. As another option, they can roll an inherited IRA into their own IRA and take withdrawals at the point when they’d normally take their own required minimum distributions (RMDs).

Owner’s minor child. A child who isn’t yet 18 can make withdrawals from an inherited retirement account using their own life expectancy. However, when he or she turns 18, the 10-year rule for designated beneficiaries (who aren’t EDBs) applies. At that point, the child would have until December 31 of the 10th year after their 18th birthday to withdraw all funds from the inherited retirement account. A deceased retirement account owner’s minor child can get an extension, up until age 26, for the start of the 10-year rule, if he or she is pursuing a specified course of education.

An individual who is disabled. The tax code says that an individual is considered to be disabled if he or she is “unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or to be of long continued and indefinite duration.” A disabled person who inherits a retirement account can use their own life expectancy to calculate RMDs.

An individual who is chronically ill. The tax code states that “the term ‘chronically ill individual’ means any individual who has been certified by a licensed healthcare practitioner as—

  • being unable to perform (without substantial assistance from another individual) at least two activities of daily living for a period of at least 90 days, due to a loss of functional capacity,
  • having a level of disability similar (as determined under regulations prescribed by the Secretary in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services) to the level of disability described in clause (i), or
  • requiring substantial supervision to protect such individual from threats to health and safety due to severe cognitive impairment.”

A chronically ill individual who inherits a retirement account can use their own life expectancy to determine the RMDs.

Any other person who’s less than 10 years younger than the decedent. This is a catch-all that includes certain friends and siblings (depending on age), who are identified as beneficiaries of a retirement account. This also excludes most adult children (who aren’t disabled or chronically ill) from the five categories of EDBs. A person in this category who inherits a retirement account is permitted to use their own life expectancy to calculate RMDs.

Reference: Investopedia (June 25, 2020) “Eligible Designated Beneficiary”

Read more related articles at:

Review of Retirement Account Beneficiary Designations under the SECURE Act

The SECURE Act Top Ten

Also, read one of our previous blogs at :

How Does the SECURE Act Change Your Estate Plan?

Click here to check out our Master Class!

 

Disinherit

Can I Disinherit Anyone I Want?

Can I Disinherit Anyone I Want?

If there’s someone you believe is more deserving or needs more of your help, that may mean someone else in your life may receive little or nothing from you when you die. However, be careful—disinheriting an heir is not as simple as leaving them out of your will, explains the article “How to Disinherit an Heir” from smart asset.

Disinheriting an heir means you’ve prevented them from receiving a portion of your estate, when you die. A local estate planning lawyer will know what your state requires, and every state’s laws are different.

One way is by leaving the person out completely. However, this could also leave your will up for interpretation, as there may be questions raised about your intent. A challenge could be raised that you didn’t mean to leave them out—and that could create stress, expenses and family fights.

You may also disinherit a person, by stating in your will that you do not wish to leave anything to this specific person. You might even provide information about why you are doing this, so your intent is clear. There could still be challenges, even with your providing reasons for cutting the person out of your will.

Disinheriting someone can be a tricky thing to do. It requires professional help. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney who has experience in will contests, may be your best choice for an estate planning attorney.

There are instances where relatives known and unknown to you are entitled to make a claim on your estate. An experienced estate planning attorney may suggest a search for relatives to ensure that no surprises come out of the woodwork, after your passing.

There are some relatives who cannot be disinherited, even in a legally binding last will and testament. In many states, you may not disinherit your spouse or children. Most states protect spouses from being disinherited, and in some states, children are legally entitled to a certain amount of your property. However, in most states, you may disinherit parents, if they outlive you.

There are many reasons you may want to disinherit someone. You may have been estranged from a child or a cousin for many years, or you may believe they have enough financial resources and want someone else to receive an inheritance from you.

Many high-profile individuals have declared that their children will not receive an inheritance, preferring to give their assets to charitable foundations or organizations working for causes they support.

Whatever your reasons for disinheriting someone, make sure you go about it with professional help to ensure that your wishes are followed after you die.

Reference: smart asset (June 1, 2020) “How to Disinherit an Heir”

Read related articles at:

How To Disinherit A Family Member

Four Ways to Disinherit Family Members

Also, read one of our previous Blogs at :

How Can You Disinherit Someone and Be Sure it Sticks?

Click here to check out our Master Class!

Asset Protection

How Can I Protect Assets from Creditors?

How Can I Protect Assets from Creditors?

Forbes’ recent article entitled “Three Estate Planning Techniques That Protect Your Assets From Creditors” explains that the key to knowing if your assets might be susceptible to attachment in litigation is the fraudulent conveyance laws. These laws make a transfer void, if there’s explicit or constructive fraud during the transfer. Explicit fraud is when you know that it is likely an existing creditor will try to attach your assets. Constructive fraud is when you transfer an asset, without receiving reasonably equivalent consideration. Since these laws void the transfer, a future creditor can attach your assets.

Getting reasonably equivalent consideration for a transfer of assets will eliminate the transfer being treated as constructive fraud. Reasonably equivalent consideration includes:

  • Funding a protective trust at death to provide for your spouse or children
  • Asset transfer in return for interest in an LLC or LLP; or
  • A transfer that exchanges for an annuity (or other interest) that protects the principal from claims of creditors.

Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) can be an asset protection entity, because when assets are transferred into the LLC, your creditors have limited rights to get their hands on them. Like a corporation, your interest in the LLC can be attached. However, you can place restrictions on the sale or transfer of interests that can decrease its value and define the term by which sale proceeds must be paid out. An LLC must be treated as a business for the courts to treat them as a business. Thus, if you use the LLC as if it were your personal property, courts will disregard the LLC and treat it as personal property.

Annuities are created when you exchange assets for the right to get payment over time. Unlike annuities sold by insurance companies, these annuities are private. These annuities are similar to insurance company annuities, in that they have some income tax consequences, but protect the principal against attachment.

You can also ask an experienced estate planning attorney about trusts that use annuities, which are called split interest trusts. There is a trust where you (the Grantor) give assets but keep the right to receive payments, which can be a fixed amount annually with a Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (or GRAT.)

Another trust allows you to get a variable amount, based on the value of the assets in the trust each year. This is a Grantor Retained Uni-Trust or GRUT. If the assets are vacant land or other tangible property, or being gifted to someone who’s not your sibling, parent, child, or other descendant, you can keep the income from the assets by using a Grantor Retained Income Trust (or GRIT).

Along with a trust where you make a gift to an individual, you can protect the trust assets and get a charitable deduction, if you make a gift to charity through trusts. There are two types of trust for this purpose: a Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT) lets you keep an annuity or a variable payment annually, with the remainder of the trust assets going to charity at the end of the term; and a Charitable Lead Trust (CLT) where you give a fixed of variable annuity to charity for a term and the remainder either back to you or to others.

To get the most from your asset protection, work with an experienced estate planning attorney

Reference: Forbes (June 25, 2020) “Three Estate Planning Techniques That Protect Your Assets From Creditors”

Read more related articles at :

Ten Rules For Asset Protection Planning

4 Ways Wealthy Families Protect Their Assets From Lawsuits

Also, read one of our previous Blogs at :

Common Asset Protection Mistakes in Titling Real Property

Click here to check out our Master Class!

Incapacity Planning

How to Plan for Incapacity

Planning for incapacity is just as important as planning for death. One is certain, the other is extremely likely. Therefore, it makes sense to prepare in advance, advises the article “Planning ahead for incapacity helps you and family” from The Press-Enterprise.

Let’s start by defining capacity. Each state has its own language but for the most part, incapacity means that a person is incapable of making decisions or performing certain acts. A concerned adult child is usually the one trying to have a senior parent declared incapacitated.

A person who has a mental or physical disorder may still be capable of entering into a contract, getting married, making medical decisions, executing wills or trusts, or performing other actions. However, before a person is declared incapacitated by medical professionals or a court, having a plan in place makes a world of difference for the family or trusted person who will be caring for them. Certain legal documents are needed.

Power of Attorney. This is the primary document needed in case of incapacity. There are several kinds, and an estate planning attorney will know which one will be best for your situation. A “springing” power of attorney becomes effective, only when a person is deemed incapacitated and continues throughout their incapacity. A POA can be general, broadly authorizing a named person to act on different matters, like finances, determining where you will live, entering into contracts, caring for pets, etc. A POA can also be drafted with limited and specific powers, like to sell a car within a certain timeframe.

The POA can be activated before you become incapacitated. Let’s say that you are diagnosed with early-stage dementia. You may still have legal capacity but might wish a trusted family member to help handle matters. For elderly people who feel more comfortable having someone else handle their finances or the sale of their home, a POA can be created to allow a trusted individual to act on their behalf for these specific tasks.

A POA is a powerful document. A POA gives another person control of your life. Yes, your named agent has a fiduciary duty to put your interests first and could be sued for mismanagement or abuse. However, the goal of a POA is to protect your interests, not put them at risk. Choosing a person to be your POA must be done with care. You should also be sure to name an alternate POA. A POA expires on your death, so the person will not be involved in any decisions regarding your estate, burial or funeral arrangements. That is the role of the executor, named in your will.

Advance health care directive, or living will, provides your instructions about medical care. This document is one that most people would rather not think about. However, it is very important if your wishes are to be followed. It explains what kind of medical care you do or do not want, in the event of dementia, a stroke, coma or brain injury. It gets into the details: do you want resuscitation, mechanical ventilation or feeding tubes to keep you alive? It can also be used for post-death wishes concerning autopsies, organ donation, cremation or burial.

The dramatic events of 2020 have taught us all that we don’t know what is coming in the near future. Planning in advance is a kindness to yourself and your family.

Reference: The Press-Enterprise (July 19, 2020) “Planning ahead for incapacity helps you and family”

Read more related articles at:

Legal Planning for Incapacity

5 Legal Facts You Need to Know About Incapacity Planning

Also, read one of our previous Blogs at:

What Can I Do to Plan for Incapacity?

Click here to check out our Master Class!

Covid, Nursing home

Visiting Grandma at the Nursing Home

In spots where visits have resumed, they’re much changed from those before the pandemic. Nursing homes must take steps to minimize the chance of further transmission of COVID-19. The virus has been found in about 11,600 long-term care facilities, causing more than 56,000 deaths, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

AARP’s recent article entitled “When Can Visitors Return to Nursing Homes?” explains that the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has provided benchmarks for state and local officials to use, in deciding when visitors can return and how to safeguard against new outbreaks of COVID-19 when they do. The CMS guidelines are broad and nonbinding, and there will be differences, from state to state and nursing home to nursing home, regarding when visits resume and how they are handled. Here are some details about the next steps toward reuniting with family members in long-term care.

When will visits resume? As of mid-July, 30 states permitted nursing homes to proceed with outdoor visits with strict rules for distancing, monitoring and hygiene. The CMS guidelines suggest that nursing homes continue prohibiting any visitation, until they have gone at least 28 days without a new COVID-19 case originating on-site (as opposed to a facility admitting a coronavirus patient from a hospital). CMS says that these facilities should also meet several additional benchmarks, which include:

  • a decline in cases in the surrounding community
  • the ability to provide all residents with a baseline COVID-19 test and weekly tests for staff
  • enough supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning and disinfecting products; and
  • no staff shortages.

Where visits are permitted, it should be only by appointment and in specified hours. In some states, only one or two people can visit a particular resident at a time. Even those states allowing indoor visits are suggesting that families meet loved ones outdoors. Research has shown that the virus spreads less in open air.

Health checks on visitors. The federal guidelines call for everyone entering a facility to undergo 100% screening. However, the CMS recommendations don’t address testing visitors for COVID-19.

Masks. The federal guidelines say visitors should be required to “wear a cloth face covering or face mask for the duration of their visit,” and states that allow visitation are doing so. The guidelines also ask nursing homes to make certain that visitors practice hand hygiene. However, it doesn’t say whether facilities should provide masks or sanitizer.

Social distancing. The CMS guidelines call on nursing homes that allow visitors to ensure social distancing, but they don’t provide details. States that have permitted visits, state that facilities enforce the 6-foot rule.

Virtual visits. Another option is to make some visits virtual. Videoconferencing and chat platforms have become lifelines for residents and families during the pandemic. Continued use after the lockdowns can minimize opportunities for illness to spread.

Reference: AARP (July 22, 2020) “When Can Visitors Return to Nursing Homes?”

Read more related articles at:

States Allow In-Person Nursing Home Visits As Families Charge Residents Die ‘Of Broken Hearts’

When will it be safe to visit your mom in a nursing home after coronavirus lockdowns?

Also, read one of our previous blogs at:

Staying Connected to Family Members in a Nursing Home When Visits are Banned

Click here to check out our Master Class!

RMD

AUGUST 31st-The Deadline for Rolling Back RMDs into Retirement Accounts

August 31 – The Deadline for Rolling Back RMDs into Retirement Accounts

President Trump officially signed the CARES Act on March 27, 2020. The Act allows retirement plan owners to skip taking their Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) in 2020, if they so choose. This is intended to benefit those who are in a good financial position and do not need to take their RMDs during these unsettling times. What about those who already had taken their RMDs for 2020?

This is the subject of a recent article titled “Don’t Miss the August 31 Deadline to Return 2020 Required Minimum Distributions” from The Street.

First, the IRS announced that anyone who had already taken RMDs before the CARES Act became law could return the funds to their retirement accounts. However, the window of time to return the withdrawn funds was pretty short—only 60 days.

On June 23, the IRS extended the time period to Aug. 31, 2020. That seemed like a long time ago, back in late June. But now the clock is ticking, and Aug. 31 is just around the corner!

Note: the repayment is not subject to the singular 12-month rollover limitation, also known as the “once-per-year rollover rule.” And the same repayment applies to beneficiary, or inherited, IRAs.

The ability to rollover funds back into tax-deferred accounts is a help on several different levels. One, the account owner does not have to pay income taxes on RMDs for the year (unless they were Roth accounts, which pay taxes on contributions and not withdrawals). Also, this spring was a rocky one for markets, and returning money into tax-deferred accounts gives the accounts a chance to recover from some significant market swings.

Speak with your estate planning attorney and financial advisor about your RMDs for 2020, and how the CARES Act RMD waiver may apply to your situation.

Reference: The Street (July 29, 2020) “Don’t Miss the August 31 Deadline to Return 2020 Required Minimum Distributions”

Read more related articles at:

IRS announces rollover relief for required minimum distributions from retirement accounts that were waived under the CARES Act

Rollover relief for required minimum distributions

Also, read one of our previous Blogs at:

Massive Changes to RMDs from Stimulus Plan

Click here to check out our Master Class!

Variable Annuities

What Should I Know about Immediate Variable Annuities?

What Should I Know about Immediate Variable Annuities?

FedWeek’s recent article entitled “Buying an Annuity for an Income Stream” explains that these annuities come in two varieties, immediate fixed annuities and immediate variable annuities. With an immediate fixed annuity, you receive the same amount each month, as long as the annuity lasts.

However, a fixed payout may not be attractive, because that fixed amount is likely to decrease in value over the years as prices increase.

There are, however, immediate variable annuities with payments that are indexed to inflation.

There’s are also immediate variable annuities, where you decide among investment accounts with the aim of upping your payments.

Immediate annuities can be a good strategy for people 65 and older. That’s because the older you are when you buy one, the more cash flow you’ll get and the greater the portion of each check that will be a tax-free return of capital.

When you purchase an immediate annuity, you can select some of the terms of the contract. Let’s look at some of the common choices.

A straight life annuity will pay one individual for as long as he or she lives, whether it’s a month or 50 years.

With a joint annuity, a married couple purchases an annuity that will pay as long as either spouse is alive.

Finally, there are period certain annuities. This kind of annuity can be on one person’s life, just like a straight life annuity. However, with a period-certain annuity, the insurer agrees to make payments for at least a specific number of years (a common term is 10 years). If the annuitant dies within that term, payments to a beneficiary will continue until the term is completed. You can get period-certain annuities for many different lengths of time.

Note that joint annuities and period-certain annuities have smaller payouts than a straight life annuity.

You need to consider whether protecting a spouse or another beneficiary is worth the reduced cash flow while you’re around.

Reference: FedWeek (June 18, 2020) “Buying an Annuity for an Income Stream”

Read more related articles at:

Variable Annuities: What You Should Know

Immediate Variable Annuities

Also, read one of our previous Blogs at:

Can My Heirs Be Handcuffed with an Annuity?

Click here to check out our Master Class!

Dementia-Smell

Does Sense of Smell Impact the Onset of Dementia?

Does Sense of Smell Impact the Onset of Dementia?

 

In a study by the University of California-San Francisco, researchers monitored about 1,800 participants in their 70s for a period of up to 10 years to determine, if their sensory functioning could be linked with the development of dementia. At the time of enrollment, all participants were dementia-free, but 328 participants (18%) developed dementia during the course of the study.

The University of California – San Francisco’s July 20 press release “Older Adults Who Can Really Smell the Roses May Face Lower Likelihood of Dementia” explains that of those whose sensory levels ranked in the middle range, 141 of the 328 (19%) developed dementia. This compares with 83 in the good range (12%) and 104 (27%) in the poor range, according to the study, which was published in Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Prior studies looked at the link between dementia and individual senses, but the UCSF researchers’ focus was on the additive effects of multiple impairments in sensory function, which emerging evidence shows are a better indicator of declining cognition.

“Sensory impairments could be due to underlying neurodegeneration or the same disease processes as those affecting cognition, such as stroke,” said first author Willa Brenowitz, PhD, of the UCSF Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and the Weill Institute for Neurosciences. “Alternatively, sensory impairments, particularly hearing and vision, may accelerate cognitive decline, either directly impacting cognition or indirectly, by increasing social isolation, poor mobility and adverse mental health.”

While multiple impairments were important to the researchers, the authors noted that a keen sense of smell, or olfaction, has a stronger association against dementia than touch, hearing, or vision. Those in the study whose smell declined by 10% had a 19% higher chance of dementia, versus a 1-to-3% increased risk for corresponding declines in vision, hearing, and touch.

“The olfactory bulb, which is critical for smell, is affected fairly early on in the course of the disease,” said Brenowitz. “It’s thought that smell may be a preclinical indicator of dementia, while hearing and vision may have more of a role in promoting dementia.”

The participants underwent multisensory testing in the third-to-fifth year and included hearing (hearing aids were not allowed), contrast-sensitivity tests for vision (glasses were permitted), touch testing in which vibrations were measured in the big toe, and smell, which entailed identifying distinctive odors like paint-thinner, roses, lemons, onions and turpentine.

The study showed that those who stayed dementia-free, generally had higher cognition at enrollment and were apt to have no sensory impairments. Those in the middle range tended to have multiple mild impairments or a single moderate-to-severe impairment. Participants at higher risk had multiple moderate-to-severe impairments.

The 780 participants with good multisensory function were also more likely to be healthier than the 499 participants with poor multisensory function. This suggested that some lifestyle habits may play a part in reducing risks for dementia.

Reference: University of California – San Francisco (July 20, 2020) “Older Adults Who Can Really Smell the Roses May Face Lower Likelihood of Dementia”

Read more related articles at:

Routine sense of smell tests could be used to spot signs of dementia

Sniffing out dementia with a simple smell test

Also, read one of our previous Blogs at:

How Do We Test for Dementia?

Click here to check out our Master Class!

Joe Biden

What Will Biden Do with Medicaid, if Elected President?

What Will Biden Do with Medicaid, if Elected President?

Biden’s proposal is ambitious. It addresses the long-term care needs of the Medicaid population in a fairly complex manner. The proposal continues to leave big gaps in Medicaid-based care and does nothing for the millions of people who need long-term support and services but are ineligible for Medicaid.

Biden’s plan is part of an ambitious plan to help parents of young children, says Forbes’ recent article entitled “Biden Makes Big Commitment To Home-Based Medicaid Long-Term Care, But Gaps Remain.”

However, the former Vice President’s plan goes well beyond the more modest suggestions made just two weeks ago by a joint task force with support from former primary rival Bernie Sanders. It’s also much more specific. He promises to spend $450 billion to enhance Medicaid home-based care, and he says he’d clear 800,000 people from the program’s waiting lists for such community care. However, this plan could somewhat decrease the number of Medicaid recipients living in nursing homes.

Biden seems to look at only one Medicaid long-term care problem, which is the waiting lists. However, a state can end waiting list,s by limiting the amount of home-based services it provides—a state could simply provide less care to more people.

In an attempt to avoid this, Biden says he will add new federal dollars into a new home care program and fund new innovative models in community care. That promise may motivate states to move from the current complex system of multiple federal waivers into a single new model. The federal government currently requires states to offer Medicaid long-term care to nursing home residents only. The states can get waivers from the federal government that let them provide home-based care, but the special programs are complex for both states and consumers.

Biden would support states moving into the better-funded program, but it wouldn’t be required. Biden identifies a wide range of services that could be funded with this new model. They include things, like primary medical care, transportation, adult day programs, home-delivered meals and home renovations (such as wheelchair ramps).

Biden also proposes to up the pay for direct care workers.

The VP’s plan is as a major $450 billion-plus commitment to enhance Medicaid’s home and community-based care programs.

Reference: Forbes (July 21, 2020) “Biden Makes Big Commitment To Home-Based Medicaid Long-Term Care, But Gaps Remain”

Read more related articles at: 

Joe Biden Would Eliminate Elder Care Waiting Lists for Medicaid If Elected

What’s in, and out, of Biden’s health care plan

Also, Read one of our previous Blogs at:

Elder Law and Medicaid Planning

Click here to check out our Master Class!

 

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