Monthly Archives: November 2017

Eliminating the Medical Expense Deduction Will Harm People Who Are Chronically Ill

November 30, 2017

Source: Naela News

House Republicans have introduced their plan to reform the tax code. The legislation calls for ending the medical expense deduction (MED). NAELA anticipates this proposed change will cause major disruption to individuals and families trying to pay for the catastrophic costs of long-term services and supports (LTSS).

The MED has been in the tax code in one form or another since 1942. Elder law attorneys are intimately familiar with it because they have a front-row seat to their elderly clients’ chronic illnesses and long-term care expenditures as well as the special medical and remedial care expenses of individuals with disabilities. In my work as an elder law attorney, I deal with this tax deduction every single day, usually to reassure my clients that they will probably not have to worry about the tax consequences of paying for long-term care (LTC) themselves. Continue reading

Major Changes in Nursing Home Regulatory Arena Go Into Effect Today

November 30, 2017

Source: Naela News

November 28 is a big day in the world of nursing home regulations:  Phase 2 regulations go into effect, along with a new survey process, the “freezing” of health inspection ratings,  and revised interpretive guidelines. At the same time, an 18-month  moratorium on full enforcement of certain Phase 2 requirements begins. Continue reading

Advocates Decry efforts to Revise and Delay New Nursing Home Requirements

November 30, 2017

Source: Elder Law Answers

Eric Hargan
Acting Secretary
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W
Washington, D.C. 20201

Seema Verma
Administrator
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, D . C . 20201

Dear Acting Secretary Hargan and Administrator Verma:

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (Consumer Voice) and the undersigned organizations and individuals strongly oppose current and proposed efforts to revise the nursing home requirements of participation and delay their implementation. Such actions threaten the well-being and safety of frail, vulnerable residents of long-term care facilities. We are writing to request that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) retain the regulations as issued in October 2016 and implement and enforce these requirements according to the originally mandated schedule. Continue reading

Pressure Builds To Cut Medicare Patients In On Prescription Deals

November 30, 2017

Source: Naela News

Medicare enrollees, who have watched their out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs climb in recent years, might be in for a break.

Federal officials are exploring how beneficiaries could get a share of certain behind-the-scenes fees and discounts negotiated by insurers and pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, who together administer Medicare’s Part D drug program. Supporters say this could help enrollees by reducing the price tag of their prescription drugs and slow their approach to the coverage gap in the Part D program. Continue reading

Mnuchin Says Estate Tax Repeal Will Help ‘Rich People’ Most

November 30, 2017

Source: Elder Law Answers

Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, said on Friday that repeal of the estate tax would disproportionately benefit the rich and predicted a proposed tax plan would pay for itself through economic growth. Tom Brenner/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump and Republican leaders have positioned a proposed repeal of the estate tax as a way to help farmers, ranchers and small business owners. But on Friday, Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, offered a significant concession about who would benefit the most if the so-called death tax disappears: the rich.

Continue reading