Medicare’s annual open enrollment period runs from October 15 to December 7–the period when enrollees can shop for new coverage. Now is the time to review your options to determine if you should switch plans. During Medicare’s annual open enrollment period, you may (1) enroll in a Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan; (2) change your Part.. read more →

The Alzheimer’s Association has issued its 2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report. The report is “a statistical resource for U.S. data related to Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia, as well as other dementias.” Aside from providing a definition of Alzheimer’s disease (“Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disease and the most common cause of.. read more →

Below are figures for 2016 that are frequently used in the elder law practice or are of interest to clients. Medicaid Medicaid Spousal Impoverishment Figures for 2016 These figures are unchanged from 2015.  The minimum community spouse resource allowance (CSRA) is $23,844 and the maximum CSRA remains $119,220. The maximum monthly maintenance needs allowance is $2,980.50. The minimum monthly.. read more →

In this case, a surviving spouse’s claim to her deceased spouse’s life insurance proceeds was rejected by an appeals court in New Jersey because the deceased spouse named others as beneficiaries. Fromageot v. Fromageot, Docket No. A-1099-13T1 (App. Div.,  December 2, 2015) The decedent, Paul Fromageot (“Paul”), had two life insurance policies. One was a.. read more →

Medicare is the federal government’s principal health care insurance program for people 65 years of age and over. In addition, the program covers people of any age who are permanently disabled or who have end-stage renal disease (people with kidney ailments that require dialysis or a kidney transplant). The Medicare program insures 49 million Americans.. read more →

A New Jersey appeals court rejected a surviving spouse’s public policy argument to adopt a rule that marriage creates a “presumptive right” to a deceased spouse’s life insurance benefits when someone else was designated as the beneficiary of the policy, holding that the creation of any such presumptive right would have to come from the.. read more →

On Thursday, February 4, 2014, I, along with amicus counsel, argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court on behalf of Thomas Saccone, a retired Newark fireman with a disabled adult child named Anthony. Anthony, now 40 years old, has received public benefits based on need, specifically SSI and Medicaid benefits, since he was age 18… read more →

This is the agenda posted outside the New Jersey Supreme Court on Thursday, February 4, 2014 when the Court heard oral argument in Saccone v. Board of Trustees of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System in which the Court will decide whether public employees should be allowed to direct their pensions’ death benefits to special-needs.. read more →

(A news report published in the New Jersey Law Journal on yesterday’s oral argument in the New Jersey Supreme Court is republished in full below.) Court Weighs Designating Trusts as Beneficiaries in State Pension Plans Michael Booth, New Jersey Law Journal, February 04, 2014 New Jersey’s high court is deciding whether public employees should be.. read more →

Thomas v. Thomas, Docket No. A-2388-11T2 (N.J. Super. App. Div. June 4, 2013), involved competing claims against a $1 million life insurance policy maintained by the decedent. Mr. Thomas was survived by a wife, as well as an ex-wife, with whom he had 2 children. Pursuant to the Property Settlement Agreement (“PSA”) between Mr. Thomas.. read more →

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced increased deductibility levels for individuals with long term care insurance policies in 2013.  According to Revenue Procedure 2012-41, the deductible limits range from a low of $360 to as much as $4,550 per person. The limits represent an increase from 2012, as follows: Attained Age Before Close of Taxable Year.. read more →

The settlement of Jimmo v. Sebelius, Docket No. 11-cv-17 (D.Vt., January 18, 2011), a nationwide class-action lawsuit, has resulted in a significant change in Medicare coverage rules. Under the settlement, Medicare will scrap a decades-old practice that required beneficiaries to show medical or functional improvement before Medicare would pay for skilled nursing and therapy services… read more →

New Jerseyans with an autism spectrum disorder gained two laws recently which, it is hoped, will give them a better chance to lead meaningful, productive and independent lives. The first of the new laws, A-4226, expands New Jersey’s anti-discrimination law, the Law Against Discrimination, to ensure that no one who has autism and related neurological.. read more →

In Rodbart v. County of Union, 2009 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 3084 (December 21, 2009), Union County was sued by three retirees who expected the County to pay their Medicare Part B premiums for life if they accepted early retirement. Two of the retirees were former Union County assistant prosecutors and the other served as.. read more →

The IRS has announced the 2010 limits on the tax deductibility of qualified long term care insurance premiums. Deductible limits were increased for every age group, ranging from $10 for the youngest group to more $130 for the oldest. For the first time, the maximum deductible limit for an individual exceeds $4,000. The 2010 limits.. read more →

The September 21, 2009 edition of amednews.com, the internet version of American Medical News, published by the American Medical Association, reported that the number of uninsured Americans increased by about 600,000 in 2008, despite government health programs such as Medicare and Medicaid enrolling about 1 million more people than they did the year before. Although.. read more →

According to a recent article in the August 24th edition of The Dallas Morning News, seniors battered by the tough economy are selling their life insurance policies to replenish their retirement nest eggs.  Unlike younger investors, older adults may not have the time to wait for the market to recover all of their losses, so.. read more →

When advising clients about how to plan for the possibility of needing long-term care, elder law attorneys generally put long-term care insurance (LTCI) at or near the top of the list of planning strategies, provided the clients can afford the coverage and are insurable. But are elder law attorneys walking the walk for themselves and.. read more →

New Jersey allows a deduction of medical expenses, including long-term care insurance premiums, to the extent that they exceed 2% of adjusted gross income. N.J. Stat. Sec. 54A:3-3 New York, on the other hand, provides a tax credit of 10% of the premiums for long-term care policies approved by the Superintendent of Insurance pursuant to.. read more →

The U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed earlier holdings that a conflict of interest exists in long term disability (LTD) cases when the same entity (such as an employer or an insurance company) determines whether an employee is eligible for benefits and also pays these benefits to the employee.  In metropolitan-life-insurance-company-v-glenn, 128 S.Ct. 2343 (2008), the.. read more →

(I previously blogged about life settlements here, but there’s much more to say about the subject. Thus, I asked my colleague,  Joel Kastin, an insurance broker, to contribute an article discussing life settlements, and he agreed to participate.  Joel is, therefore, my first guest blogger of 2009.  Joel Kastin has been a New Jersey licensed.. read more →

Attached is a one page summary of the tax benefits of tax-qualified long term care insurance for 2009, from the Corporation for Long Term Care Certification. The information is organized by type of taxpayer, so it is a quick reference for individuals or business owners. read more →

In a recent study, “Three Phases of Retirement and Planning for the Unexpected,” the Society Of Actuaries (SOA) identified three stages of retirement and offered advice on how to prepare for each stage of retirement. The SOA said that retirement is often depicted as life on the golf course, holidays with the grandchildren, and traveling.. read more →

Are you having difficulty keeping up premium payments on a life insurance policy, or do you no longer need the policy? Policyholders once had only two options: let the policy lapse or turn it in for a meager cash surrender value. Now there’s another, often vastly more lucrative alternative: sell the policy to a company.. read more →

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the maximum tax deduction that can be taken on qualified Long Term Care Insurance premiums in 2009. Maximum Deduction for Qualified LTCI Premiums Under Code 213(d)(10) Attained Age Before Close of Year 2008 2009 40 or less $310 $320 More than 40 but no more than 50 $580 $600.. read more →