Google “gobbledygook” and supposedly its first use was in 1944. Don’t ask me where, or how. But as a lawyer, I can tell you that legal gobbledygook has an ancient root in Latin. If you want to confuse someone, just start talking Latin, but don’t try it with the high school Latin teacher. So here are some regularly used terms with an explanation.
HIPAA is not that fat animal with short legs and bulbous head. It’s an acronym that stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and its provisions are bigger than any hippo you have ever seen. One of its main goals was to protect your private health information from anyone except those people or entities you want to see the records. Overall, the goal of protecting your personal medical information is good, as you certainly don’t want that information out in the public. The goal of protection can lead to unintended consequences however, as no medical personnel will reveal records without a privacy release usually called a “HIPAA” form.
Many of us baby boomers are concerned about the kids moving back home until they get that elusive job. But there is another scenario with the family home, and that is when parents may need to move in. That is a much more complex situation and here are some considerations.
The five year lookback for Medicaid is a much feared and misunderstood rule. Very simply, it means the State of Connecticut Department of Social Services is going to look back for a period of five years to see what you did with your assets. The State wants to determine if you made transfers of your assets to your family that could disqualify you from getting state homecare programs, or Medicaid.
As our parents age, we all know that at some point extra help may be needed to stay at home. That extra help may be from family, neighbors, or paid workers. There are issues of care, safety, socialization, nutrition, and medications to be addressed. There are Connecticut, federal, and VA programs potentially available to help. There are legal requirements and planning documents necessary to navigate the numerous rules and laws. It is a puzzle of interconnecting pieces, and is actually harder than that 1000 piece puzzle you struggled to put together as a child.
Last week I presented a seminar to attorneys at the annual meeting of the Connecticut Bar Association. The topic was Medicaid Planning for a Married Couple, and since it is fresh in my mind, it is a good time to again review those rules, as they can be confusing.