Archive for September, 2011

Will Congress Delay Medicare Eligibility to Benefit Hospitals?

Posted on: September 19th, 2011 by Lawrence A. Friedman

The deficit reduction plan authorized this summer would automatically cut billions of dollars from Medicare payments to hospitals and other health providers unless Congress agrees to alternate budget reductions. Medicare typically pays hospitals and health providers lower rates than other health insurers pay. Thus, the hospital industry is lobbying Congress to raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 by 2014 instead of cutting their Medicaid payments. Such an increase could have a dramatic effect on people close to age 65 who are counting on Medicare to provide health insurance in the next few years.

Hospitals are pushing Medicare eligibility deferral as an alternative to billions of dollars of cuts in their future Medicare payments. While the American Hospital Association claims the delay in Medicare eligibility could be ameliorated by other provisions in 2010′s Affordable Care Act, others respond that those provisions will provide little benefit to most retirees and raising the eligibility age would cost individuals, employers, and states far more than the federal government would save. In addition, various pending lawsuits may preclude Affordable Care Act provisions from even taking effect.

In short, soon to retire baby boomers no longer can assume that Medicare will kick in at age 65 and should consider alternatives in case Medicare eligibility is deferred.

For further information on health care and estate and elder law planning, see the articles and topic tabs at To subscribe to this blog, click the RSS tabs to the left and then click the subscribe button.

Should you give your home to your kids now?

Posted on: September 18th, 2011 by Lawrence A. Friedman

Titling your home to your children can be very risky. Once your children own your home, they can sell the home out from under you or simply force you to leave, a major risk should a child develop credit or marital issues. Gifting your home also gives up equity you may need later to move to an adult community, warmer climate, or more accessible home. It also may sacrifice tax breaks that would be available if you sold the home or left it to your kids when you pass on. For further information, see our more extensive blog entry of May 15, 2011 How Should I Protect My Home Against Nursing Home Costs? as well as the elder law Q&A and articles accessible at To subscribe to this blog, click on entries RSS to the left under Meta and then on the subscribe button.

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Homepage photo: Cows grazing at Meadowbrook Farm, Bernardsville, NJ by Siddharth Mallya. October 23, 2012.
Interior photo: Somerset hills pastoral scene by Lawrence Friedman.