What is Elder Law?

Elder law is constantly changing. The reason is simple, demographics. In 1936 the birth rate bottomed out with the depression. In 1946 the WWII baby boom began and this continued until 1964. In 2010 the first of the baby boomer generation will be entering the Medicare system.

The rules for medical assistance are drawn by the Federal Government and passed on to the State. Major changes in 2010 include:

  1. Increasing the spouses asset allowance to nearly $110.000.00;
  2. Increasing the spouses income allowance to $1,823.00 plus excess shelter allowances that can bring the total as high as $2,736.00;
  3. All hospitals receiving government payments must follow properly executed medical directives.
  4. The look-back period for transfers will be phased in to eventually reach 60 months in 2011;
  5. The Statewide Average Monthly payment rate for Skilled Nursing Care (SAPNSF) will be $5,006.00 effective July 1, 2009;
  6. Special Need Trusts can no longer be established for persons 65 and older;
  7. Effective January 1, 2011, there will be money available to pay for in-home care if the participate needs help with at least two for the following activities:
    • Bathing;
    • Dressing;
    • Grooming;
    • Walking;
    • Eating; or
    • Needs Medical Management.

As you know, the Health Insurance Bill signed by President Obama is several thousand pages long. I think that we will not have a good understanding of all it's provisions until sometime next year – so stay tuned and stay healthy!