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June 2017 Archives

The Use of Immediate Annuities in Medicaid Planning for Married Couples

piggy_bank_and_calculator_sm.jpgImmediate annuities can be a useful tool to protect the spouse of a nursing home resident who applies for Medicaid. These types of annuities allow the nursing home resident to spend down assets and give the spouse a guaranteed income.

Apple's New Phone Feature Will Block Notifications for Drivers

Driver distraction is a serious problem in Texas and nationwide. In fact, each year more than 100,000 crashes in Texas involve driver distraction, and Texas was recently ranked in the top 20 states with the most distracted drivers.

Checklist: Choosing an Assisted Living or Continuing Care Facility

1494450360_istock_000000688576_extrasmall_sm.jpgThese questions will help you to evaluate and compare just about any kind of supportive housing arrangement. (For more on assisted living facilities and continuing care communities, click here.)Questions Regarding the Solvency and Expertise of the Provider1. What is the provider's background and experience? The provider is the person or entity legally and financially responsible for providing the housing.2. Is the provider financially sound?3. Are all levels of care licensed or certified by the state?4. How does the facility ensure the quality of its care and services? Is it accredited by any recognized private accrediting organization?Questions Regarding Fees and Accommodations5. If there is an entrance fee, how much is it, and can you get a refund of all or part of it? The facility should provide a formula for a pro rata refund, based on the resident's length of stay, regardless of whether the facility or the resident initiates the termination. Some facilities may offer fully refundable entrance fees.6. What is the monthly fee? When and how much can it be increased? What happens if you cannot afford higher fees? Some facilities give residents financial help if they become unable to pay.7. Do the fees change when the resident's living arrangements or level-of-care needs change?8. How much say do you have in choosing where you live? How large is the living unit? Can you change or redecorate it?9. What if your marital status changes? Will your payments change, or will you be asked to move if you marry, divorce, become widowed or have a friend or family member move into the unit?10. What if spouses require different levels of care?Questions Regarding Services and Health Care11. What services are included in my regular fees? Ask about coverage, limitations, and special charges related to the following matters:Supportive/Social/Recreational Services

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