Retirement Planning

November 17, 2016
By Frank Marano

Retirement planning is an essential part of protecting you and your family’s future.

Planning can include savings, estate planning, legacy planning, health care, and long-term care.

All of these must be explored no matter the size of your assets.

For the last five years, I have been providing workshops and one-on-one meetings educating seniors on all types of planning and how Medicare works. I opened a dialogue on Facebook to provide up-to-date answers to important questions.

Medicare pays 100% the first 20 days. Then it pays 80% for days 21 through 100, while a secondary plan covers the other 20%. Just before the 20th day, Medicare will evaluate your progress. If there is little improvement, they will stop payments. Unfortunately, if Medicare declines payment, then your secondary insurance will not pay starting on day 21; you are responsible for 100%.

IMPORTANT: As with any Medicare claim, your secondary only pays the 20% after Medicare approves the claim and agrees to pay 80%. It is your responsibility to make sure the procedure or test is medically necessary and approved by Medicare. Medicare will deny a claim if the test is duplicated, if a wrong code is used, or if the test is unnecessary. I educate my clients to always ask the right questions, as mistakes are very costly.

Social Security and Medicare will not cover custodial care: bathing, cooking, and getting in and out of bed. Medicaid is the only program that offers help in custodial care. To qualify for Medicaid, your income must be low and you are required to spend down your assets. Just one year of nursing care can wipe out most retirement plans.