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Colorado Estate Planning And Estate Settlement Legal Blog

Will proposed Medicaid cuts affect your health care needs?

The American Health Care Act, with its proposed cuts to Medicaid, could have a major impact on elderly people's ability to get much-needed care.

According to an article from Forbes, Medicaid has a wider reach than many people believe. While it is often seen as an insurance program for low-income individuals, the reality is that more than 2 million elderly people rely on this program for help covering the high cost of long-term care. It is not just poor people receiving Medicaid. Many members of the middle class get help through this program.

Qualifying for Medicaid

Options for long term care in Colorado may seem plentiful, but choosing the right residence to fulfill a loved one's needs can nevertheless be frustrating. Determining whether a family member needs long term care in the first place can also prove to be a challenge. While the choice in facility depends on individual situations and health needs, qualifying for Medicaid has a specific set of qualifications in the state of Colorado.

Colorado Access, a nonprofit health plan that provides access to behavioral and physical health services for Colorado residents, provides information regarding long term care and support. The CA's website offers a list of personal health circumstances individuals may assess when deciding whether they need elder care or another type of service. The network of organizations called Long Term Services and Supports offers care for for those with a chronic illness or are limited and cannot care for themselves for long periods of time. Services may be medical or non-medical, and can come to an individual's home, in the community, in an assisted living facility or in a nursing home facility. 

Long-term care insurance: what consumers need to know

It is nearly impossible to anticipate every medical need that a person will require as they grow older in Denver. However, many people end up needing long-term care as they age, either due to a cognitive or physical illness. The cost of such care can be extremely expensive and that is why some companies offer insurance policies that help offset some of those costs. Here is an explanation of what long-term care policies cover and some potential benefits they might provide.

According to AARP, the benefits from a long-term care policy will only kick in once a person is unable to perform certain daily activities to care for themselves. The policy may offer different levels of payment for different situations. For example, a person may receive a certain benefit per day if they live in a nursing home but receive a smaller daily benefit if they receive care at home.

58 percent of Americans do not have wills

A common misconception in Colorado and across the nation is that young people do not need to worry about planning what happens to their estate until they are older. In fact, this could not be further from the truth.

A recent report from USA Today states that 58 percent of adults in America have no will or trust in place, and among parents with minor children, the number was a staggering 64 percent without a formal estate plan in place. Among older Americans, age 53 and higher, many more have made arrangements for their financial futures. Sixty percent of those between the ages of 53 and 71 have completed a will or trust and 81 percent of Americans over the age of 71 have arrangements in place. Those who have young children especially need a will in place to ensure that in the worst case scenario a guardian has been appointed who is able to properly care for them.

Comprehensive estate planning in Colorado includes a declaration as to medical or surgical treatment

The central purpose for estate planning generally is to declare your intent about certain matters while you have the present ability. Planning for the disposition of property in a manner that avoids unnecessary expense and conflict may be thought to be the primary purpose for estate planning. This is so because everyone knows about the inevitability of death and taxes.

However, a comprehensive estate plan will actually encompass end-of-life matters and healthcare considerations, as well. Planning for these contingencies is done using an estate planning tool called an advance medical directive, which often includes a living will. Since physical or mental disabilities are not sure to occur, you may not have considered the need for this kind of planning. If so, you are not alone.

Recent study reveals secrets for prolonging your independence

Researchers are closing in on the secret to a long and happy life. It may not be the fountain of youth, but a 16-year study has identified specific behaviors that lead to prolonged independence.

It is well known that physical activity and family relationships may allow you to live a long time. However, many people are far more concerned about maintaining their independence than they are about living forever.

The essentials of long-term care

Long term services in Colorado can take on many different meanings, depending on the age and physical or mental state of a patient. Different factors, including the patient's health or disability needs, can determine the type of care needed to make life easier over a long period of time. 

Choosing the right plan for long term care can ease stress down the road. The Colorado Long-Term Care Partnership is an arrangement between long term care insurers, Colorado's Medicaid plan, the Division of Insurance, the Department of Human Services, and Colorado residents. The LTC Partnership allows Colorado citizens to have more control over their assets later in life, also assisting with the following services:

  • Management of citizens' resources to pay for long term care
  • Nursing home facilities
  • Home and community based services
  • Medicaid services (depending on individual eligibility) 

Don't wait! Check your beneficiary designations today

Have you been patting yourself on the back because you have an estate plan? It feels good knowing that you have done all you can to prepare for what is to come.

As a part of your comprehensive estate plan, your attorney probably explained the importance of completing your beneficiary designations on life insurance policies, bank accounts, pension plans and the like. Whether you set up your estate plan a decade, three years or six months ago, let this serve as a reminder to verify that you designated primary and secondary beneficiaries and that you should recheck your designations on a periodic basis.

What is an inter vivos trust?

Preparing your trust in Colorado can be confusing, especially when you come across terms that you have never heard before. One of the phrases that is commonly misunderstood is an inter vivos trust. Understanding what this trust is and what the benefits are can help you determine if this is the right trust for you.

 

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