Hunt & Associates P.C.

Jan 6, 2017

Oregon Court Says “No” to DHS’ Medicaid Rule Change

Supreme Court - 010617In a long-awaited decision, the Oregon Supreme Court has struck down Medicaid repayment rules issued by the Department of Human Services in 2008.  The court ruled that DHS did not have the legal authority to issue rules which would allow it to recover Medicaid payments from assets a Medicaid recipient transferred to his or her spouse up to five years prior to applying for Medicaid.  The decision upholds a 2014 ruling from a lower court … Read more

Dec 20, 2016

Disabled Individuals Can Now Establish Their Own Special Needs Trusts

vintage-1537992_1920Congress has just enacted legislation that allows disabled beneficiaries of means tested programs such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to establish their own special needs trusts.  Until now, such trusts had to be established by persons other than the disabled individual even when the trust’s funding source was the disabled individual’s own assets.  The new law, known as the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, changes that and allows such trusts to be established … Read more

Dec 9, 2016

Oregon Launches its ABLE Savings Plan

Piggy bankBeginning December 6, 2016, Oregonians can take advantage of the federal “ABLE Act” which allows persons with disabilities to establish accounts which can be used to pay their disability related expenses.[1]  Those eligible can now open an ABLE account by enrolling via the Oregon ABLE website.  The enrollment process is estimated to require no more than 15 minutes to complete.

Up to $14,000.00 can be contributed to an ABLE account each year without … Read more

Nov 10, 2016

Court Puts a “Hold” on New Federal Rule Banning Arbitration in Nursing Home Contracts

Senior citizensWe recently blogged about a new rule issued by The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) which restricts nursing homes that receive federal funds from imposing arbitration agreements on their new residents. This new rule (Rule) was scheduled to take effect on November 28, 2016.  It would prevent such facilities from requiring that their new residents sign pre-dispute arbitration agreements as a condition of entry to the facility.  CMS believed the Rule was needed … Read more

Oct 27, 2016

Long-Term Care Facilities’ Use of Arbitration Restricted by New Federal Rule

Elder to rest homeMore than 1.4 million Americans reside in one of the more than 15,000 long-term care (LTC) facilities in the U.S.[1]  Late last month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency responsible for those federal programs, issued new rules affecting LTC facilities which participate in Medicare or Medicaid.  Included among these new rules is a prohibition against pre-dispute arbitration provisions.

Up until now, most LTC facilities required their residents to sign … Read more

Sep 15, 2016

Ready to Launch? Oregon’s ABLE Accounts to Open for Business in December 2016

MoneyOur past blogs have told you about a recently enacted federal law, the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (the “ABLE Act”), which allows persons with disabilities to establish accounts that can be used to pay expenses related to their disabilities.[1]  Up to $14,000.00 can be contributed to an ABLE account each year.  Account earnings grow tax deferred and, provided the funds are used by the account owner to pay for “qualified … Read more

Aug 4, 2016

ABLE Accounts Can Be a Game Changer for People with Disabilities

Photo of moneyWe have previously told you about recently enacted federal legislation, the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (the “ABLE Act”), which allows persons with disabilities to establish tax favored savings accounts which can be used to pay for expenses related to their disabilities.

A recent article highlights the dilemma faced by people with disabilities who can be disqualified from government benefit programs on which they rely, such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income, … Read more

Jun 13, 2016

When the Government’s Production of “Laws” Exceeds Its Ability to Digest Know What It Has Produced

Congress often delegates its legislative authority to administrative agencies which exercise that authority to revise, interpret and define legislation.  The increasing volume of such administration has caused one federal circuit court to note that even the government agencies were apparently incapable of knowing what their own “law” is.

One recent case the appellate court panel noted took the court,

“. . . to a strange world where the government itself – the very ‘expert’ agency … Read more

Aug 17, 2015

Should You Be Planning for Long Term Care?

“…I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

-Dwight Eisenhower

For most of us life rarely works out according to a plan. As an old proverb states, “man plans, God laughs”. We still make plans for future events which matter to us because experience teaches us that it makes sense to do so and because we anticipate, or at least hope, that planning will lengthen the odds of a successful or … Read more

Jul 16, 2015

Almost ABLE: An Update on Savings Accounts for People with Disabilities

This past January, we told you here about recently enacted federal legislation, the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 (the “ABLE Act”), which allows persons with disabilities to establish tax favored savings accounts which can be used to pay for expenses related to their disabilities.

Persons who became severely disabled prior to their 26th birthday may establish an ABLE account, to which anyone can make a contribution. The total annual amount … Read more