Best Excuses NOT to Prepare Estate Plans

5 Reasons people don't have estate plans

It is important to have a plan for your healthcare decisions and who will receive your assets after you pass away – this is generally called estate planning. Your estate plans can include a will, trust, and other instruments that pass your property upon your death. In addition, your estate plans may include health care decision documents.  People come up with a lot of excuses to avoid making an estate plan. Below are the top five excuses you can use to avoid speaking to an estate-planning attorney:

Reasons to skip Estate Planning

    • Creating family conflict is your favorite pastime.
    • You think the state doesn’t get enough of your money now.
    • Your kids can totally handle receiving a lump of money in their twenties.
    • You plan on living forever.
    • You don’t have any assets.

Let’s break these down one at a time to see if any of these excuses will work for you.

FIRST, you like creating family conflict. Some families thrive on disputes. The infighting and breakdown in relationships that can occur in a family after a loved one passes away can be intensified if there is fighting around who gets what assets. It doesn’t matter if the items in question are worth $10 or $10,000.
In your estate plan, you can specify the gifts you want to give to each child, sibling, relative, and charity. A good approach to gifting your assets is to find out who wants specific items and include that into the plan. But if you are the type who likes conflict then stay away from a good estate plan to give your family one last reason to battle.

SECOND, you like paying taxes and don’t thing the state gets enough of your money now. For that reason, you would like to share more with the government after you pass away. You can accomplish this in two ways:

  • 1) Leave an estate larger than your estate tax minimum (the federal limit is over 5 million (in 2015) but many states have lower thresholds).
  • 2) If you have no living relatives to a certain degree (for example cousins, aunts, parents, grandparents, children, or spouse) and no estate plan, all your property will go to the State. Each state determines what level of relative can claim your property but ultimately, if no eligible relative steps up, the state gets all of it.
    There are ways to reduce your estate’s tax burden with proper planning. A good estate plan includes ways you can utilize your money now and save taxes for both you and your loved ones.

THIRD, your kids are more responsible than most and would save all the money you give them when you pass away. You can look to any pop culture magazine or website to see what most teenagers or twenty-somethings do with too much disposable income. Even the most responsible kids can have a difficult time managing large sums of money.
If you have young children or young adult children, you can make a plan that puts the lump sum into a trust. That trust can then divvy money out at specified times or circumstances. This type of plan gives you lasting control over what happens to the money but may hinder your child’s ability to throw one great party for their 25th birthday. If you have minor children who will live with a designated person, (of your choosing listed in the will), a trust can be set up for their care using the proceeds from your estate.

FOURTH, you plan on living forever. While all of us know we will not actually live forever, it is easy to assume there is always tomorrow to work on your estate planning documents. There also seems to be some fear around planning for your death; “if I plan for it, it will come”. Death is inevitable and mostly unpredictable; it is better to be prepared for the security of your loved ones than to put off planning out of fear.

FIFTH, you don’t have any assets. This may be a valid reason to not spend the money on a will or other estate planning document. However, speaking to an attorney about your situation may still be a good idea for a number of reasons:

  • 1) You should designate a power of attorney in case you are unable to make your own health or money decisions at some point down the road.
  • 2) See “Reason Not to Plan” #1 above. Families fight over assets whether they are worth $10 or $10,000. A small estate plan can be handled by a competent attorney for less money than you think.
  • 3) You will want to designate who will care for children if you pass away while they are still minors.
  • 4) To discuss all the things you won’t take the time to research on your own and give you advice on how to go about planning.

In general, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney about your assets, what will happen if you pass away with children, tax consequences, and health care decisions. You should also speak to an attorney after any major life events such as the birth of children, marriage, death or divorce.

DIY Cookies, Not Your Estate Plan

With websites like Pinterest and television shows on HGTV, we are in a world of DIY (In case you are not familiar with the term, DIY = Do It Yourself).  From making crafts with kids, to building your own shed, there is likely a website to help with step-by-step instructions and pictures to help you along the way.

There are even self-help estate planning websites and forms that offer low-cost will, power of attorney, and other legal documents.  However, a failed craft simply hurts your ego; a failed estate plan can have devastating consequences to you and your heirs.

Don't DIY Your Estate Planning

Photo:Credit GreaterGood.com

Do NOT DIY your Estate Plan.

Here are a few common issues I see that people run into when they try to DIY their estate planning documents:

  1. Bank refusing to accept your power of attorney;
  2. Giving too much away in your power of attorney;
  3. Failing to properly exclude family you don’t want to give money to;
  4. Unintended tax consequences for your heirs;
  5. Not using the correct documents for your state.

These common problems can be very difficult to work out, especially after cognitive decline or death.  Heirs may be burdened with financial obligations that you were unable to envision or even knew about when the documents were created.  If the documents are unrecognized in your state, your loved ones may have difficulty accessing and advocating for you in a medical facility.

Related Article: Senior Care: Pre-Planning is Key

Working with a skilled attorney can help you avoid many of these issues and more.  In addition, make sure to seek out an attorney familiar with estate planning who is willing to meet with you face-to-face.  Ask your friends, co-workers and advisors for attorney recommendations.

If money is a hurdle, know that there is a wide range of rates among attorneys.  You can work with a new attorney whose rates are lower or contact your State Bar to see if they offer programs for people with lower incomes.  In the end, it may be less expensive to have a lawyer draft a good estate plan than have to work out a bad plan later.

Senior Care: Pre-Planning is Key

Planning for Retirement and Senior CareAs I remain closely connected to my local senior care community, I am frequently reminded of how important pre-planning is when it comes to senior care.  I see families caught off guard and overwhelmed when a crises occurs with no pre-planning in place.  Having legal documents, financial preparations and senior care options explored  can mean a world of difference in the journey of senior care.

Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine. – My father

Legal Pre-Planning

Legal pre-planning is one of the most important to any senior care plan.  No matter how this journey goes for you or a loved one, at some point, legal issues will arise.  Doctor and hospital visits can become complicated if the proper power of attorney documentation is not in place. Banks and financial institutions will not work with anyone who does not have the legal authority to represent the account holder.  The following are important documents to research and have in place.  Pre-planning is not just for older adults, but adults at any age.  I HIGHLY recommend working with an attorney, and if you can, an Elder Law Attorney in your area to ensure that these documents are correctly administered, signed and notarized if needed.  Consider the money spent an investment in you and your family’s future.

  • Power of Attorney– Health Care and Financial- This document(s) allows you to appoint another person to make decisions on your behalf and/or in the event you are unable to make decisions for yourself.  Also called a Durable Power of Attorney in some states.  A person who is incapacitated or cognitively impaired cannot assign a power of attorney (this is where I have personally seen a lack of pre-planning have serious repercussions).
  • Living Will– This document helps spell out healthcare wishes to physicians and family.   This ensures that no one else decides for you how your medical care will be administered, or not.  Remember Terri Schiavo?
  • Will– A legal document that declares how you want your estate and possessions distributed after your death.  Even for those with very few assets, a Will can be an important document to spell out how to distribute personal possessions.

Financial Pre-Planning

Preparing for retirement is one thing, planning to pay for senior care is another subject itself.  As reported by Genworth, the annual cost of home care in 2015 is $44,616 (based on 44 hours/week), assisted living $43,200, and nursing home care is $80,300.  If those numbers are giving you heart palpitations, you aren’t alone.  Take the time to understand the following government programs that may be able to help pay for the cost of senior care.  Remember, qualifying for programs like Medicaid and VA benefits do not happen quickly in many cases.  Research these programs before a crises.

  • Medicare:  Medicare does not pay for any long-term care.  It does pay for short term rehabilitation if specific criteria are met.  Many clients I have worked with in the past were very misinformed or misunderstood the limits of Medicare benefits when it came to paying for senior care.  Medicare.gov does a great job of explaining what is covered under Medicare benefits.
  • Medicaid: Medicaid is a federal program, but benefits are administered by each state and vary widely in criteria to qualify.  Generally speaking, Medicaid will cover the cost of long term care in certain settings if specific health and financial conditions are met.
  • VA: The VA offers a variety of long term benefits to veterans and their spouses, again if certain criteria are met.  You can find specific information on the VA website about the programs, benefits, and pension options available.  My experience with a family member was that it took 9 months for her application to be approved, so plan ahead.

There are a variety of other ways to pay for long term care (reverse mortgages, long term care insurance, annuities, trusts, etc…).  We will leave those topics to the industry experts and post when they are available.

Senior Care Pre-Planning

I had the pleasure of working as a referral and placement advisor for 12 years and served thousands of clients. During that time, I can count on both hands the number of clients who worked with me in an effort to plan ahead for their senior care options.  Everyone else was in crises mode- they came from a hospital or rehab setting and had anywhere from a few hours to a few days to decide where to place their loved one.  It was stressful and overwhelming and I’m glad I was there to help.  I can’t stress this enough- If you or a loved one has a chronic health condition it doesn’t hurt a thing to start researching what care options are in your area.

  • Work with a referral or placement agency:  I recommend working with a local company and not an online resource.  You want someone who knows the communities and homes they are representing to you well and who aren’t selling your information online.  How long have they been in business?  What is their background?  Are they plugged into the local senior service industry?  What professional associations do they belong to?  How are they paid for their services (typically reimbursed by the senior care communities they refer)?
  • View a variety of different options (if they exist) in your area:  There are different names for senior care and they may be licensed depending on what they offer (retirement living, assisted living, adult care homes, residential care, board and care to name a few).
  • Understand pricing: Do they charge a flat fee, levels, or points?  Will there be cost of living increases?  Is there a Medicaid contract available in the event that the money runs out?
  • Have a plan:  Just because you have done the research, does not mean you need to take action right away.  You will be prepared with the knowledge and understanding of what can be provided at what cost and will be able to move quickly in the event of a crises.


That all being said, sometimes the best laid plans may not work out the way they were intended, but knowing that plans are in place should a crises arise is worth the time and energy of planning for the future.

 

The Senior List is here for you! We provide news you can use, and our opinion on the best products and services for Boomers/Seniors.  Some of the providers mentioned in this post may have an affiliate relationship with The Senior List, and we’re proud of those relationships. We only work with providers that pass our own stringent criteria, and these are the providers that we refer to friends and family.

5 Medicaid Dos and Don’ts for caregivers

medicaid planning for long term careWhen an elderly loved one requires long-term care, many tough decision need to made. Having Medicaid pay for long-term care can be tricky and there are many pitfalls one needs to be aware of. Having worked with seniors and their families for many years as a Medicaid consultant at Senior Planning Services, here are some common do’s and don’ts you need to be aware of.

1. Do. Set up an irrevocable trust fund for funeral and burial plots.

For Medicaid purposes, there’s what is referred to as ‘spend-down’. This means that in order to qualify for long-term care, the beneficiary needs to meet the state resource criteria. Some assets are ‘counted’ while others are ‘excluded’. Setting up an irrevocable fund for funeral or burial plot expenses can be a smart way to ‘spend down’ ones assets. Medicaid will cover for a basic funeral service and many applicants opt for a higher standard which will not be covered but will count toward the ‘spend-down’.

2. Do. Try to get in home care covered by Medicaid.

If your loved one requires long-term in-home care and is being cared for by a family member, there are some scenarios where said family member can get reimbursed by Medicaid. Check with your states Medicaid program regarding the various support programs for caregivers. For more info on the services your state offers for seniors and their families, visit: www.eldercare.gov

3. Don’t. Accept cash in exchange for providing care for a loved one.

This will be viewed as a gift. While gifting is beneficial for estate tax purposes, it does not help in terms of qualifying for Medicaid. Medicaid conducts a five-year ‘look-back’, and will impose a penalty on any gifts granted during this time. The corresponding amount will be deducted from Medicaid coverage. What you can do is have a legitimate detailed caregiver contract written up with the help of a qualified professional.

4. Do. Plan for long-term care.

Unless it is specifically requested, many estate attorneys do not take Long Term Care planning into consideration. The world has changed over the last 100 years, with the life expectancy in North America going from 47 to 82 years of age, and estate planning needs to reflect those changes. 70% of individuals 65+ will live for some time in a long-term care facility, according to an AARP study.

5. Do. Make sure you fill out that Medicaid application with utmost care, and supply all the requested documentation in a timely fashion.

Failure to submit documentation by the requested deadlines will result in a denial, bringing you back to square one. Because Medicaid will only pay retroactively from the date of the application, a denial as result of missing documentation will leave you with an astronomical bill to foot for the ‘pending period’. It is imperative that the application get done right the first time around.

Caring for a loved one can be physically tiring, emotionally taxing, and financially overwhelming. That said, there is help to be had. All it takes is a bit of planning and contacting the right resources so that the right decisions can be reached.

When Should I Take Social Security Benefit?

When should I take social security benefit?A lot of people ponder the following thought when they hit their 60’s… “When should I take social security benefit”?  I read an interesting article recently written by Tom Sightings of the blog “Sightings Over Sixty“.  The blog post was titled “The Best Time to Start Social Security”, and it discussed the variables involved when considering when to take your social security benefit.  The long and short of it is that it’s a gamble either way.  Wait a little longer and your benefit amount goes up… Take it early and you receive less.  There is no easy answer!

When Should I Start Taking My Social Security Benefit?

Tom’s article does offer some good advice when it come to making the decision however.

Tom says a person should TAKE SOCIAL SECURITY EARLY IF:

  • Your income is low and you need the money right away
  • You have a spouse who will be eligible for a larger benefit down the road
  • You don’t believe you’ll live into your 80’s

Tom says person should DELAY TAKING SOCIAL SECURITY IF:

  • You are still working and generating income
  • You are healthy and have a long history of extended years ahead
  • You have large nest egg built up (at least $500K)

Do Not Delay Taking Social Security Beyond The Age of 70

One thing you need to be aware of though is that IF you can wait until 70, it’s a good idea to do so.  Your benefit will be 32% higher than at the full retirement age (which is now 65-67 depending on when you were born).  But we cannot stress this enough.  DO NOT WAIT ANY LONGER THAN 70 TO COLLECT YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFIT.  There is no incentive to do so.  You will simply be giving up those benefits that you earned over your working years.

If you’re interested in some additional information on social security benefits, see this nice PBS Posting by Larry Kotlikoff.  This article features some interesting questions and answers regarding the subject.

Where To Turn If You Suspect Elder Abuse

Elder Abuse Resources

We’ve all heard the horror stories… Caregiver neglects 82 year old in her care.  Son spends elderly parent’s savings on liquor and motorcycles.  The list goes on and on.  Would you know where to direct someone if they suspected elder abuse?

Well we’re here to tell you!  The Administration on Aging’s National Center on Elder Abuse has a great resource that provides a state-by-state resource guide that provides hotline numbers, statewide data, and statistics pertaining to elder abuse.  Click the interactive map to link up with this valuable resource.

As always, if you have some strong suspicions, please call your local authorities!  This is an issue that is incredibly under reported.

Pros and Cons of Peer to Peer Lending

Peer-to-Peer Lending- Is it Right for You?The state of the economy causes people to seek new loan options that they never would have considered in the past.  Peer to peer lending is attractive to both borrowers and lenders.  Facilitators offer many perks to make the lending process easier, including automatic payments and online filing.

 

Who Uses Peer-to-Peer Lending?

Many members of the same families have used peer to peer lending to lend and borrow money from each other.  Borrowing money may appear to be a simple transaction at first, but it can quickly become a nightmare.  Facilitators who are experienced with peer-to-peer lending will help with taxes and work to keep the loan separate from the family relationship.  Although family loans are common, any peer-to-peer loan transaction can occur without any previous relationship between the parties.

Peer-to-peer facilitators ensure that the loan is documented properly.  They take as much of the headache out of the loan process as they can.   A facilitator may also offer automatic payments so that the loan can be repaid without a question about the day it is due.

Pros of Peer-to-Peer Loans:

One benefit of peer-to-peer loans is that they can be used for almost any financial need.  This type of loan may be used instead of a second mortgage or a traditional bank loan because set-up fees and other fees are generally minimal.

Another benefit is that these loans require much less paperwork than traditional bank loans.  This eases the burden on the borrower to fill out a huge stack of forms and provide many documents before the loan can be funded.

Lower interest rates are another reason that borrowers choose peer-to-peer loans over traditional financing.  Low interest rates help both borrowers and lenders save a considerable amount of money.

Lenders benefit from peer-to-peer loans because they provide yields that aren’t available with traditional savings accounts or other low-risk investment options.  People who lend out their money themselves cut out the middleman, which allows them to make more in interest without having to charge a higher rate.  Even lenders who work with a facilitator typically earn more than they would through bonds, CDs or other investments.  They also get the psychological benefit of knowing they are helping out someone in need.

Cons of Peer-to-Peer Loans:

One con of peer-to-peer lending is that the lender may have to take a loss if the loan is not repaid.  The lender is also responsible for collecting the loan unless they use a loan facilitator to handle the paperwork and collection process.  Having to collect money from a family member is not something that most people enjoy, so using a loan facilitator is usually worth the cost just to have someone else doing the collecting.

Peer-to-peer loans are not insured like many other investments, so even the initial investment is at risk if the borrower defaults on the loan.  The best way for lenders to protect themselves against default is to lend a small amount of money to several borrowers instead of lending a large amount of money to a single borrower.  It is considerably less likely that many people are all going to default on their loans.

No investment is without risk, and many boomers have found that peer-to-peer lending is a wonderful way for them to help out people that they know or don’t know and make money at the same time.  Anyone who is considering using peer-to-peer lending as an investment should talk to their financial advisor about their unique financial situation before deciding if this investment is right for them.  Most lenders benefit greatly from having a peer-to-peer loan facilitator help them through the paperwork and handle the collection process for them

Paying for Long Term Care- Are You Prepared?

Paying for long term careAmericans are doing little to prepare for long term care and are not very concerned.  Maybe they don’t need to be concerned, but they should be terrified!  A recent poll released by AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, and reported in the national media, verified a major factor contributing to the long term care funding crisis in this country: Two out of every three people over the age of 40, according to the poll, have made no plans regarding paying for long term care, and it is a topic they prefer to not consider.  The irony is that seven out of ten people will need long term care services once they pass the age of 65.  The poll also showed the continuing lack of understanding about how long term care is funded.  Misconceptions continue that Medicare will pay for anything more than 100 days of skilled nursing rehabilitation care.  Health insurance plans don’t cover long term care services, long term care insurance is limited and restrictive in coverage, and Medicaid will only cover long term care (primarily nursing home) once a recipient has spent-down their assets to below the poverty level.

The irony is that seven out of ten people will need long term care services once they pass the age of 65 – AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research

The growing population of Boomers retiring, and seniors requiring long term care services is creating enormous pressure on the system and an urgent drive to find new private pay solutions.  One private pay resource that is on the rise is converting life insurance policies into Long Term Care Benefits.  Millions of seniors own life insurance policies that they are in danger of abandoning without realizing they could quickly and easily convert the policy into a monthly Long Term Care Benefit Plan.  These Benefit Plans will pay for any form of long term care service including home care, assisted living, and skilled nursing care; and any type of life insurance policy will qualify for conversion.

Private Pay Solutions Emerge

The long term care industry has been quick to embrace this concept and today thousands of assisted living communities, nursing homes and home health companies accept this funding method.  Political leaders too have begun to realize the cost saving implications for their beleaguered Medicaid budgets by extending the time a person could remain private pay before becoming Medicaid eligible through the conversion of a life insurance policy as an alternative to abandoning the policy through lapse or surrender.

Medicaid is a government program designed to help cover health care costs for the indigent (poor), disabled and children and/or dependents.  The eligibility process is determined by asset and income levels that would measure an applicant as being below the poverty level.  One of the assets that will count against a Medicaid applicant is a life insurance policy.  The owner of the policy must surrender the policy for any cash value and spend it down on care, or if the policy has no cash value and the owner keeps it the estate will be subject to federally mandated asset recovery probate action against the death benefit collected by the estate to claw back all Medicaid expenditures.  Because of this reality, financial planners, elder law attorney’s and geriatric care advisers have provided seniors and their families with the default guidance that in the case of ownership of life insurance policy (not including funeral policy exemptions), a life insurance policy still owned by the senior inside the 5 year look back period should be abandoned.

Medicaid is a government program designed to help cover health care costs for the indigent (poor), disabled and children and/or dependents.

Political Support Arrives Just in Time

States are now coming to the realization that there is a much higher value found through the conversion of a life policy that can be deployed to extend private-pay as a Long Term Care Benefit Plan.  Any owner of a life insurance policy has the legal right to convert it into a Long Term Care Benefit Plan.  In 2010, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) passed a national consumer protection model law that would mandate life insurance companies must disclose to policy owners about their legal right to convert their life insurance policies instead of abandoning them via lapse or surrender.  The life insurance industry opposes anything that would discourage policy owners’ from abandoning their life insurance (because life insurance companies make huge profits off of seniors that have paid premiums for years and then abandon their policies in the last years of their life).

Since passage of the NCOIL national model law; legislation has been introduced in numerous states to empower Medicaid departments to educate citizens that the conversion of their life insurance policies is their legal right and a better option than abandonment of their policies.  As of May 2013, the states of FL, TX, KY, LA, and ME have introduced this legislation and numerous other states are preparing to introduce the same bill for enactment.  Over the course of this year and next, people will continue to become more aware of their option to convert a life insurance policy to pay for long term care.  All across the country the long term care industry and political leaders are looking for private pay options that not only help people pay for long term care, but save the tax payer money by delaying Medicaid eligibility.

Paying for Long Term Care: Three Clear Winners

1.     The policy conversion option is a clear winner for seniors and their families; providers of long term care services; and for tax payers in every state.  The policy owner and their family are able to convert a life insurance policy and use the proceeds in a Medicaid qualified spend-down to extend the time they are private pay before moving to government assistance.  This allows freedom to choose the form of care they want, as well as financial control and dignity for themselves and their families.

2.     Providers of long-term care services benefit because they are operating under extremely thin margins and private pay dollars translate into higher quality services for covered care.

3.     The longer a person can remain private pay before becoming Medicaid-eligible, the more budget/tax savings for the us tax paying citizens.

Policy Changes to Medicare Will Keep You In Therapy Longer

policy changes to MedicareMy first job as a social worker was in skilled nursing facilities, aka nursing homes.  While I loved many aspects of my job, I dreaded the weekly meeting that was held to determine which Medicare patients were making progress from our therapy services (and which were not).  Those who were deemed to be plateauing and no longer benefiting from physical, occupational, speech, respiratory, or skilled nursing therapy services were given a 72 hour written notice from our team.  This notified families that Medicare would no longer be covering their stay in our rehabilitation facility.

For many patients, this meant a scramble to find alternative care settings, or arranging services to be brought into their homes for the transition.  No one was happy to see me walk in the door with that letter.  It meant that Medicare had given up on them with that particular injury.  Some would appeal our decision, but it was rare that the ruling would be in their favor.  Luckily, policy changes to Medicare were on the horizon.

The saddest cases were those that had some form of dementia along with their diagnosis (broken hip, stroke, etc…).  These folks simply could not follow the instructions given to them in order to make progress with their injury.  Typically they were discharged just a week or two after admission… And they were the lucky ones.  They had straight Medicare, not an HMO or they would have been shown the door earlier. But that’s for another post.

So, it is with great pleasure to have learned about new policy changes to medicare that will have an immediate effect on this process.  A federal court settlement in Jimmo v. Sebelius has been approved.  New policy provisions will state that skilled nursing and therapy services necessary to maintain a person’s condition can be covered by Medicare.  This replaces the “improvement standard” that providers have subscribed to for years.  

According to Medicare Advocacy.org “CMS will undertake a comprehensive nationwide Educational Campaign to inform health care providers, Medicare contractors, and Medicare adjudicators  that they should not limit Medicare coverage only to beneficiaries who have the potential for improvement.  Instead, providers, contractors, and adjudicators must recognize “maintenance” coverage and make decisions based on whether a beneficiary needs skilled care that must be performed or supervised by a professional nurse or therapist.”

To break it down, Medicare recipients can’t be kicked off skilled services (therapy services such as PT, OT, etc…) simply because they aren’t making significant improvement.  In the case of the Medicare recipient with dementia and a fractured hip, he/she will now receive therapy services despite the dementia diagnosis until the hip is treated to maintain his/her current condition and to prevent further decline.

“Lawyers for the beneficiaries say the settlement could help people with chronic conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, strokes, spinal cord injuries and brain trauma. Often the prospects for improvement are slim, but there are ways to slow a patient’s deterioration and help the patient to live long enough to take advantage of new treatments as they are developed.” New York Times

While substantial costs are expected to be added to the Medicare program because of these changes, there may also be savings realized if recipients can receive therapy services in their homes.  The increased therapy should also keep these patients out of more costly settings like hospitals and nursing facilities and keep readmission rates low.

To learn more about the settlement, or if you would like to appeal a past decision made by a Medicare provider, the article from the Center for Medical Advocacy has many helpful links and resources.

Mobile Help Now Acquires Halo Monitoring

Mobile Help Now logoplus signMobile Help Now acquires my Halo Halo Monitoring

Mobile Help Now Acquires Halo Monitoring

If you weren’t aware, Mobile Help (Boca Raton, Florida) has acquired a company we’ve had our eye on for quite some time, Halo Monitoring (Halo’s website now redirects to MobileHelp).  The consolidation could be good or it could be bad for the PERS-Medical Alarm market depending on how you see it AND depending on what Mobile Help does with the Halo technology.  IF they invest, improve and expand the my Halo platform it’s probably a great thing for the fall detection market.   IF they bury Halo Monitoring, it’s one less choice for consumers and a waste of a once promising technology.The myHalo Fall Detection Device

Here are some excerpts from the MobileHelp press release entitled MobileHelp acquires Halo Monitoring to build out PERS offering.

“The acquisition of Halo Monitoring is an important step on our journey to expand our solution portfolio of Home Healthcare and Monitoring solutions that further improve the well-being of seniors who rely on our products,” Rob Flippo, CEO of MobileHelp said in a statement. “We are excited to add additional capabilities to our best-in-class mPERS offerings, in addition to bringing on board talent to further expand our technology capabilities.” – Brian Dolan, MobiHealthNews

Medical Alert SystemsMobile Help Now hand held unit

The Senior List has written extensively about Personal Emergency Response Systems including Fall Detection Devices.  Click through for a short list of medical alert systems available today.  From there, you’ll be able to read our reviews of medical alert systems and become familiar with the different types of medical alert choices for aging adults.

Mobile Help Now | The myHalo chest strap Fall Detection DeviceHalo Monitoring was one of the first companies to include automatic fall detection in its wearable PERS devices, which send an alert to caregivers and/or a call center when the person wearing the pendant falls — it does not require the wearer to push any buttons to trigger the alert. – Brian Dolan, MobiHealthNews

 mobile help now acquires my halo monitoring