The M&B Weekly     
October 1, 2013  
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Jane Dobisz
In this issue...
PLAN Reduces Retention Rate for Pooled Trust
Learn Everything You Want to Know About the Medicare Program and More This Thursday
"Obamacare" Should Be of No Concern to Medicare Beneficiaries
Transition Assessment and Planning for Adolescents with Special Needs
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Quick Links

PLAN Reduces Retention Rate for Pooled Trust  

The PLAN of Massachusetts and Rhode Island has announced that it reduced the retention rate for its (d)(4)(C) trust from 25% in all cases to a graduated rate of 10% or 20% based on how long the trust account exists before the beneficiary passes away. It will hold back 10% if the beneficiary passes away within two years of creating the trust and 20% if she lives longer.
Under federal and Massachusetts law, an individual of any age seeking eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or MassHealth may transfer excess assets to a qualified (d)(4)(C) trust and become immediately eligible for benefits. He must be the sole beneficiary of the trust and the trust must provide that at his death, it will reimburse the state for whatever it has spent through the MassHealth program for his care. The trust may also retain a portion for its own expenses. If funds still remain after the trust retention and MassHealth reimbursement, they can be paid to heirs of the beneficiary.
These pooled disability trusts have become a common planning technique for people moving into nursing homes, both so that they can still have some funds to pay for extra care and to create the possibility that some funds may remain for other family members. Many individuals have been using the Family Trust of Massachusetts because it has always had a lower, graduated retention rate, increasing the likelihood of funds remaining for heirs. Our understanding is that it is in the process of being disbanden and is referring its beneficiaries to other pooled trusts.
The third pooled trust in eastern Massachusetts is the CJP Disabilities Trust which, like the PLAN trust until now has a 25% retention rate. We understand that it is also considering creating a graduated structure.
Click here to learn more about pooled disability trusts.
Learn Everything You Want to Know About the Medicare Program This Thursday

Have you heard that the Medicare Secondary 

Payer (MSP) Program will be expanded from 

worker's compensation to tort cases? That the 

attorney will be liable if the client's Medicare 

obligations are not met? Have you been to presentations where you've left with more questions than answers?


This Thursday morning, hear nationally-recognized MSP consultant Jason Lazarus explain the real world implications of the MSP program, including:

  • The legal underpinnings of the MSP program;
  • The responsibility and potential liability of personal injury attorneys;
  • Which cases have to consider Medicare's interest;
  • How to protect yourself and your client;
  • How to determine the Medicare Set Aside (MSA) amount.
  • Funding the MSA; and
  • Managing the MSA.
 Click here to learn more and to register. 
"Obamacare" Should Be of No Concern to Medicare Beneficiaries, Although Scammers May Tell You Otherwise
Starting October 1, 2013, people who 
lack  health insurance can start signing up for coverage through the new Internet-based health insurance marketplaces set up under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). Most of those who don't already have insurance will have to buy coverage by March 31, 2014, or pay a penalty.  But if you already have Medicare, you have nothing to worry about.  You have coverage that will continue as before and you don't need to do anything.  Any stranger who tries to tell you otherwise is likely trying to steal your personal information.  


Click here to watch Margolis & Bloom's Steven J. J. Weisman's recent appearance on NECN talking about scams involved with the Affordable Care Act.


Click here to learn more.
Transition Assessment and Planning for Adolescents with Special Needs

At our first Monday Lunch Series next week,
Kelley Challen, will provide a brief overview of transition responses for young people leaving the special education system, highlight best practices for transition planning and assessment, discuss the genesis of NESCA's innovative transition model, and provide practical advice for families and professionals navigating the process.  

The program will take place next Monday, October 7th, from noon to 1:00 p.m. in our Boston office.  

Click here to learn more.
Green News
On Saturday, October 26th and Sunday, October 27th, the Boston Vegetarian Society will host it's 18th annual Vegetarian Food news On top of health benefits, you can also learn of ways to benefit the envirnoment.  Check out the website for more details.