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Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I schedule a meeting with an Advisor?

The first session is a 45 minute video/phone call, whichever is preferred. Once you purchase a consulting package you will be able to access the Senior Care Advisors calendar to find a time that fits best with your schedule.

What is the best package to choose If I am not sure about any of the resources that are needed?

If you are looking for some general direction and have a good understanding on many of these resources, tier 1 should be enough.

If you are looking for continued guidance and are not familiar with many community resource,  tier 2 may be a good choice.  You will be able to call an advisor as you navigate through the community resources and ask questions when needed.

If you are looking for someone to do all the work for you to find the best resources that fits your needs, from start to finish, tier 3 may be the best choice.  Advisors will work with you to set up appts with each resource and answer any questions along the way.  This is a great investment if you would like to preplan for your senior years.

When should I apply for Medicare?

The best time to apply for Medicare depends on your individual circumstances, particularly your age and whether you qualify for Medicare based on age or disability.

1. **Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)**: If you’re turning 65 and you’re not already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits, you can apply during the Initial Enrollment Period. This period begins three months before your 65th birthday, includes the month of your birthday, and extends for three months after your birthday month.

2. **Special Enrollment Period (SEP)**: If you delayed enrolling in Medicare because you were covered under an employer’s group health plan, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period once that coverage ends. This typically lasts for eight months after your employment ends or your group health coverage ends, whichever comes first.

3. **General Enrollment Period (GEP)**: If you missed your Initial Enrollment Period and you’re not eligible for a Special Enrollment Period, you can enroll in Medicare during the General Enrollment Period, which runs from January 1 to March 31 each year. However, be aware that there may be penalties for late enrollment.

4. **Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period**: If you’re already enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B, you can switch to a Medicare Advantage plan or switch between different Medicare Advantage plans during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, which runs from January 1 to March 31 each year.

5. **Medicare Part D Enrollment**: If you want prescription drug coverage, you can enroll in a Medicare Part D plan during your Initial Enrollment Period for Part D, or during the Annual Enrollment Period, which runs from October 15 to December 7 each year.

It’s essential to consider your individual circumstances and healthcare needs when deciding when to apply for Medicare. If you’re unsure about the best time for you to enroll, you can contact the Social Security Administration or visit https://www.ssa.gov/ for personalized guidance.

Where do I go to get the forms, or help if needed, to complete an application for Medicaid?

Your local County Office on Aging often has an Elder Benefit Specialist that can help for free, unless it is a complicated situation.  $2000 or less in total assets is what is needed when getting Medicaid.    You may want to retain an elder law attorney who is well versed in Medicaid if your situation is complicated. See our Attorney section for vetted attorneys.

See our Medicaid resource section for a link for help or schedule a consultation session with one of our advisors who can help answer questions and guide you to the best resources.

If I move into an assisted living community, do I need to sign a 1 year contract?

Every assisted living and residential care facility must have a Uniform Disclosure Statement (UDS), a legally binding document. Read the contract before signing as all living communities are not the same.  Many assisted living and residential care contracts are 50 pages or more. If you do not understand the agreement an attorney may be worth contacting.

What questions should I ask before I choose an Assisted Living Community?

We highly recommend reaching out to one of our trusted Senior Placement Companies if you are looking for Senior Communities.  Here are some questions below if you want to proceed looking on your own.

1. What services are included in the monthly fee?

2. What activities are available for residents?

3. What is the stafftoresident ratio?

4. How often are medical and social services provided?

5. Are there any additional fees or deposits required?

6. What security measures are in place?

7. Are there any restrictions on visitors?

8. What kind of transportation is available?

9. What is the policy for handling medical emergencies?

10. Are there any pet policies?

Do I need an attorney to set up a living trust?

No, you do not need an attorney to set up a living trust. You can purchase a living trust kit or hire a non-lawyer to help you draft the documents. However, it is highly recommended that you consult with an attorney to ensure the trust is properly drafted and all requirements are met to ensure the trust is valid. See our Attorney resource section for Attorneys that can help with living trusts.

What is the difference between a Skilled Nursing Home and an Assisted Living Community?

When it comes to choosing a long-term care facility, it can be challenging to understand the differences between skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities. Although they may appear to offer similar services, the two facilities have fundamental differences.
Firstly, skilled nursing facilities cater to patients with a high level of medical needs. They have round-the-clock medical personnel, including registered nurses, physicians, and therapists, who are trained to manage critical health conditions. Assisted living facilities, on the other hand, provide assistance with activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing, grooming, and medication management. However, they may not have a registered nurse or a physician on staff.
Secondly, the cost of skilled nursing facilities is usually higher than that of assisted living facilities. Skilled nursing facilities require more specialized medical attention and equipment, which can drive up costs. Assisted living facilities typically charge less as they offer fewer medical services.
Thirdly, skilled nursing facilities require patients to stay for a specific period of time, usually until their medical condition is stabilized. Once patients have recovered, they can move to an assisted living facility. Assisted living facilities offer more independence, allowing residents to stay for an extended period, usually until their condition requires specialized care.
Lastly, skilled nursing facilities are more regulated than assisted living facilities. The state sets strict standards and requirements that skilled nursing facilities must follow to maintain their license. On the other hand, assisted living facilities may not have as many regulations or guidelines to follow.
In summary, while skilled nursing facilities offer intensive medical care, assisted living facilities offer less specialized medical attention. The costs, length of stay, and regulation requirements also differ significantly between the two. Understanding these differences can help you choose the right facility that meets your needs or those of your loved ones.

 

We’re Here To Help.
We have carefully vetted senior care resources so anyone can have access to the best resources that meet their needs. If you’d like additional assistance, our experienced team of senior care advisors are available to help via our consulting packages.
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