The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Special Needs Planning

A special needs trust is essential for protecting a loved ones quality of life and access to government benefits.

A special needs trust is essential for protecting a loved ones quality of life and access to government benefits.

On March 23, 2010, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law by President Obama.  This series of laws, also known as Obamacare, had and will continue to have a major impact on all aspects of our health care system.  No greater example of this can be found than that affecting the long term planning which must be done by members of the special needs community.

Beginning January 1, 2014, insurance companies are no longer able to deny coverage to adults for pre-existing conditions.  In fact, insurance companies are prohibited from denying coverage or charging more to any person based on their medical history, including genetic information.  Insurance companies are also required to offer and renew coverage for any applicant.

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Things to consider before getting long term care insurance

As the population gets older, it seems that more companies are offering long term care insurance.  Yet, is it really necessary? There are many assumptions around long term care insurance, specifically that you or a loved one will one day become sick enough to need the kind of care, such as assisted living or nursing home, that long term care insurance provides.

Yet, many experts agree that unless you have substantial assets, long-term care insurance is a must.  After all, Medicare and health insurance do not cover the long term custodial care (i.e. assistance with activities of daily living) that most seniors need after a serious illness. According to an article on Forbes.com, there are things to consider before signing up for long-term care insurance, since not all companies offering long-term care insurance are created equal.

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