NY Irrevocable Medicaid Trust Rules

Applicant Disqualified for Failure to Designate Self as Trust Beneficiary

Martha Ferrugia, a New York resident, established an irrevocable medicaid trust, aka irrevocable “trigger” trust in 1986. Trigger trusts are no longer permitted, but New York still recognizes those created before 1992. Martha’s trust was to distribute income and principal to her unless she entered a nursing home. At that point, the trust would terminate, a

irrevocable medicaid trust

Happy smiling senior couple embracing together at home

nd its assets would go to the remainder beneficiaries.

However, another provision of the trust granted Martha the power to change the trust’s beneficiaries. According to the provision, Martha could designate anyone as beneficiary except her spouse, her creditors, her spouse’s creditors, her estate, or her estate’s creditors. So, Martha was not barred from naming herself as beneficiary.

When Martha applied for Medicaid long-term care benefits, the Department of Social Services determined she was not eligible because she had not designated herself as beneficiary of the trust. This was, in effect, a transfer for the sole purpose of qualifying for Medicaid.

The New York Supreme Court, Chatauqua County, agreed and upheld the Department’s denial of Martha’s Medicaid benefits. Since she could have named herself as beneficiary, the trust assets were within her control and constituted available resources.

Washington DC resident Mollie Orshansky was admitted to a hospital by Adult Protection Services (APS) after she was discovered in a “self-neglecting state.” The hospital filed a petition for appointment of a guardian on the basis that Mollie suffered from dementia. Before the guardianship hearing, Jane Pollack, Mollie’s niece from New York, came to the hospital and presented a health care proxy Mollie had executed 18 months earlier naming Jane as her health care agent in case she became incapable of making her own decisions. Jane requested that the hospital release Mollie into her care, but the hospital refused.

Over the next few weeks, Jane lodged numerous complaints with the hospital, claiming her aunt was not receiving adequate care, therapy, or stimulation, and as a result was suffering bruises, sores, and urinary tract infections and was growing weaker and more confused every day she remained in the hospital. The hospital ignored the complaints, so Jane decided to take matters into her own hands as Mollie’s health care agent. Without providing any notification, she entered the hospital, removed her aunt, and took her to New York. Then she notified the hospital, which called the police and APS and filed an amended petition requesting the immediate appointment of a guardian, claiming Mollie had been “improperly” removed while the guardianship hearing was pending.

The probate court held an emergency hearing and appointed a guardian and conservator whom Mollie did not know. Also, the court found that Jane’s removal of her aunt from the hospital had been “improper,” though no evidence was presented that Jane’s actions had violated any law, had threatened Mollie’s health, or had been done against Mollie’s will. The court even declared that “all Powers of Attorney” signed Mollie “for any purpose, including healthcare, are hereby voided,” even though no witnesses presented any evidence that the health care proxy was invalid.

Meanwhile, Jane petitioned the New York Supreme Court to appoint her as Mollie’s guardian and conservator. Pending that hearing, the Court prohibited Mollie from being removed from New York City. In a subsequent hearing in DC, the temporary guardianship was made permanent, and the DC guardian was ordered to go to New York and bring Mollie back. Jane appealed.

The D.C. Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the probate court had abused its discretion and violated statutory requirements for the appointment of a guardian and conservator without taking into account Mollie’s own wishes and prior arrangements.

Long-term HRT May Worsen Alzheimer’s but Eating Fish May Help

Long-term estrogen therapy may accelerate memory loss in women who have Alzheimer’s, according to a recent study at the University of Arizona. The research involved a rat model of Alzheimer’s. Some rats had their ovaries removed and were given hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The rats that received long-term HRT performed poorly in memory tests compared to the rats that did not receive long-term HRT.

Note, trusts should be formed when still fully cognizant.

These findings may confirm human studies that have indicated that although estrogen therapy initially improves memory, it may increase the severity of Alzheimer’s after long-term treatment.

In another study, French scientists discovered a possible link between eating seafood and a reduced risk of dementia. Researchers studied a group of 1,674 people 68 years and older who did not have dementia. Those who consumed fish or seafood at least once a week had a lower risk of suffering from dementia over a seven-year period.

The researchers speculated the fatty acids present in fish and seafood may reduce inflammation in the brain and improve circulation. However, education may also be involved, since highly educated people are more likely to eat fish.

Exercise Cuts Cancer Risk

Everybody knows exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body, but did you know it can also cut your risk of getting cancer? Recent research from Bristol University in the UK indicates exercise may cut the risk of various types of cancer dramatically.

In 37 out of 51 studies reviewed, the risk of colon cancer was cut by 40% to 50% with regular exercise. Breast cancer risk fell by 30%, with post-menopausal women experiencing the greatest benefit. And the risk of lung cancer was reduced by 40%. Endometrial and prostate cancer risks were also reduced.

About 30 minutes of exercise three times per week might be all it takes to experience these reduced cancer risks.

Source: NEI 10-16-02

The CDC recently released this list of true and false statements about the flu shot:

“The Flu is just like a bad cold.”

(FALSE)

Influenza is far more dangerous than a bad cold. Each year about 114,000 people in the US are hospitalized and about 20,000 die because of the flu. Most who die are over 65 years old, but small children are also at high risk.

“The shot can give you the flu.”

(FALSE)

Though you may still get the flu even after receiving the shot, the shot itself cannot give you the flu. The vaccine is made from killed influenza viruses.

“The side effects of the shot are worse than the flu.”

(FALSE)

The worst side effect you’re likely to get is a sore arm. The risk of an allergic reaction is far less than the risk of severe complications from influenza.

“Not everyone can take the flu shot.”

(TRUE)

Those who are allergic to eggs, are ill with a high fever, or have had a severe reaction to the vaccine in the past should not take the shot.

“December is too late for the flu shot.”

(FALSE)

The shot can be effective before or during the flu season. While the best time to get the shot is October or November, a flu shot in December or later will still protect you against the flu.

New Miracle Drugs May Fight Adult Blindness

Alert: It is not candy, unfortunately. This means we must continue to eat it in moderation.

A new category of drugs is astonishing doctors and bringing hope to people suffering from the two top causes of adult blindness. The drugs are designed to stop the progression of the “wet” form of macular degeneration—which affects the elderly—and diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness among working-age people.

For most of the test subjects, vision loss is halted as long as they take the drugs soon after symptoms appear. But some have experienced stunning reversals. One test subject who had been blind in her right eye for four years recently had her left eye go bad as well. She received four injections in her left eye, in which her vision is now 20-25.

Unfortunately, the drugs must be taken early—within a matter of months after symptoms first appear. Also, they are not intended for the more common but less aggressive “dry” form of macular degeneration. Researchers also cautioned that the results of the test will not be known for at least a year.

It has, however, been shown that the children of centenarians continue to live healthy lives, even if they don’t eat small amounts of candy.

As has long been suspected, longevity may indeed run in familicandy-and-healthes, according to a recent study that shows Children of centenarians are less likely to have life-shortening illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Individuals who have had at least one parent live to the age of 100 also tend to weigh less and have lower body mass index than individuals whose parents died at 73.

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Strong Link Confirmed Between Obesity and Heart Failure

Following up on Halloween, we hate to be Debbie Downers around here, but we felt we had to bring this to people’s attention. This is because this is the time of year where people quite caring about what they pout into their bodies. Just a little bit of attention when you are young can make a big difference for a long time.

Extreme obesity has long been associated with heart failure, but until now, scientists have not been able to determine how lesser degrees of obesity and overweight influence an individual’s risk of this disease. According to a recent study supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), excess body weight is strongly and independently associated with an increased risk of heart failure. This risk, which increases continuously with increasing degrees of body weight, is 34% higher for overweight individuals and 104% higher for obese persons. Here’s our most recent article in health: medicaid trusts.

health epidemic

The community-based study investigated the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and the risk of heart failure in over 5,000 participants. An estimated 61% of US adults aged 20-74 are either overweight or obese. About 34% of these individuals are overweight and 27%, or 50 million, are obese. Nearly 5 million Americans have heart failure, a condition in which the heart cannot pump enough blood through the body. Which, frankly leads me directly into my new topic about how cholesterol busting drugs fight dementia.

With updated census and life expectancy data, specialists now estimate that the number of Alzheimer’s sufferers could triple by the year 2050. The disease currently affects about 4.6 million Americans and costs the country about $100 billion per year. The new estimate shows an increase over previous ones, mostly because more people are expected to live past 85.

But scientists also recently reported some hopeful news in the fight against Alzheimer’s. Specifically, some anti-cholesterol drugs may cut the risk of Alzheimer’s along with that of heart disease. The drugs, known as statins, are the most widely used drugs for reducing cholesterol. Their extra benefit of reducing Alzheimer’s risk has been confirmed in three recent studies.

Also, another study showed that the Alzheimer’s drug Reminyl can effectively slow the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s by at least 12 months, and the benefit can be sustained for up to three years.

And we could consider this great news, that being social and in a community fights Alzheimers…

Elderly people who lead active social lives or have hobbies may have a lower risk of mental decline, according to a recent study conducted in Sweden. The researchers studied adults aged 75 and older and found that those who socialized often or had hobbies such as gardening or sewing were much less likely to develop dementia within 6 years.

The study involved 732 seniors who did not suffer from any form of dementia. They were interviewed about their leisure activities, including reading, completing puzzles, drawing, socializing, playing games, gardening, cooking, sewing, and others. The researchers found that participating in such activities on a daily basis could cut the participants’ risk of dementia by 40% or more. Also, individuals who reported daily exercise activities had about half the risk of dementia.

Candy Facts Part 2

10. While we’re talking about marshmallows, where did s’mores come from?

No one knows for sure, but as far as anyone can tell, the first documented “recipe” for the chocolate, graham cracker and marshmallow treat was in 1927 in the Girl Scout handbook. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, “the largest s’more ever was created on May 23, 2003, from 20,000 toasted marshmallows, 7,000 Hershey’s chocolate bars and 24,000 graham crackers. It weighed an incredible 1,600 pounds!”

11. Was Bazooka bubble gum named after the weapon?

No. The bubble gum and the weapon were both named after a musical instrument created by entertainer Bob Burns in the 1930s. He made it from two gas pipes and a funnel.

12. What happens to swallowed gum?

You may have heard people say that swallowed gum stays in your stomach for seven years. Not quite. According to the health experts at KidsHealth.org, swallowed gum, like other food, moves through your digestive system. With any luck, it will come out the other end, if you know what we mean. But for kids who swallow a lot – and we mean a lot – of gum, it can cause a blockage in the intestine. So when you’re done with your gum, get rid of it the right way – by spitting it out. Continue reading

Candy Facts Part 1

1. When did people first start eating candy?

Well, it all depends on your point of view. Did cavemen eat Twizzlers and Milky Ways? Probably not. But honey, a naturally sweet treat, has been a favorite throughout recorded history and is even mentioned in the Bible. According to the National Confectioners Association, the ancient Egyptians, Arabs and Chinese candied fruits and nuts in honey – making an early form of candy. The Mayans and the Aztecs both prized the cocoa bean, and Mayan texts refer to cacao as the “food of the gods.” In 1519, Spanish explorers in Mexico discovered the cacao tree, and chocolate made its way to Europe. People in England and the American colonies enjoyed boiled sugar candy in the 17th century. Hard candies started to become popular in the 19th century – especially sweets like peppermints and lemon drops.

2. How is candy made?

The specifics are different for each type of candy, but the basic process is the same: Candy is made by dissolving sugar in water. The level of heat determines what kind of candy results. Hot temperatures make hard candy, medium heat will make soft candy and cool temperatures make chewy candy. Continue reading

Bazooooooka Gum

Long gone are the days of “Bazooka zooka bubblegum.” Remember how easy it was to recognize the small red, white, and blue in the bucket at the corner store? Remember how important it was to read about Bazooka Joe while chewing hard enough to blow bubbles? I collected so many of those wrappers that I could started pasting them in a scrapbook and read through them often. But Bazooka left those simple days behind.

bazooka gum

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Childhood Love

Ring Pops take me back to a time where relationships were innocent, well if you can even call them relationships. In my elementary school, we had a roller skating party once or twice a year. Once for 1st-3rd graders, and then again for 4th-6th graders. I still remember my first grade skating party. I was six years old and already interested in the boys.

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When a slow song came on, I would hold hands with one of the boys in my grade and skate around the rink. But there was one boy I really liked who hadn’t yet asked me, or any other girl, to skate. His name was Brandon. When the last slow song for the night came on, Brandon came up to me and asked me to skate. I of course said yes and we skated around the rink together.

Afterwards I asked him why he hadn’t skated with any other girls during the party. He said it was because he only wanted to skate with me. (I can hear you all saying awww right now) Then he bought me a ring pop. It was strawberry, which instantly became my favorite. Buying someone a 25 cent ring pop in elementary school was the way to show your affection. That was the first time a boy bought me a ring pop, so it stuck with me!

Of course, the following year Scott moved away. I saw him once many years later in high school but I didn’t think he’d remember me. Maybe if I ever see him again, I’ll ask him if he remembers me. But even if I never see him again, we’ll always have strawberry ring pops.

Until next time, this is Kandy K…..stay sweet!

Clark Bars :)

Clark bars, the signature item of one of the country’s largest candy empires, started with a small operation run by young entrepreneur David L. Clark in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Mr. Clark entered the candy business in 1891 and spent a few years learning the trade before starting his own company, D.L. Clark Co., in 1886.

He manufactured candy in two back rooms of a small house with the help of a small staff.

Within a few years, he made enough money to open a small factory in McKeesport, where the company became incorporated

By 1911, the company had outgrown its factory, and Mr. Clark purchased a large building from a cracker manufacturer.

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Altoid Lovers Unite

“Altoids are one of the oldest breath mints and are still made from the same formula that dates back to the reign of England’s King George”.

Unfortunately this is no long true as the formula was changed in April this year when they substituted ‘corn syrup’ with ‘glucose syrup’ and ‘artificial flavor’…and as a result they don’t taste quite the same, at least to us seasoned Altoids customers. Here’s our latest post.

I’m sure they have their reasons for making this change, just as Coca-Cola did at the end of the 1980’s when they took the original Coke off the market and launch ‘New Coke’….which fortunately only lasted for six months before they returned to the original ‘7X’ formula of classic Coke…after a public outcry and lost sales which resulted in Pepsi becoming the No.1 Cola drink in the US for the first time in over 100 years.

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