Rushville Republican

Health

April 22, 2014

Long-term care crisis prompts more aggressive collection tactics

Most people do not understand filial support laws, which are spreading to more states – 28 and counting, says insurance industry expert Chris Orestis.

“We’re living longer, but for many of us, that also means we’ll require some type of long-term health care at some point,” says Orestis, a longtime industry insider and author of “Help on the Way,” (http://ebook.lifecarefunding.com/), which explains the problem of funding long-term care and offers solutions.

“It’s a problem no matter what your age because we’re experiencing a “Silver Tsunami” of retiring baby boomers and the costs of long-term care can be extremely high. Medicaid is the only option for many seniors, and that’s straining the funding for that safety net. Many people are not eligible for Medicaid, but also cannot afford the expense of care.”

As a result, long-term care providers and the federal government are bringing lawsuits and mandating claw-back actions against families, insurance companies and legal advisors, he says. Many are turning to filial support laws, which impose a duty upon adult children for the support of their impoverished parents. Medicaid also has the right to sue families in probate court to “claw-back” funds spent on care.

Just one recent example involved John Pittas, a 47-year-old restaurant owner who was sued by a nursing home company for $93,000 in expenses incurred by his mother over a six-month period after she was denied Medicaid eligibility.

“The court finding even granted discretion to the nursing home company to seek payment from any family members it wished to pursue,” says Orestis.

To avoid a financial catastrophe, he says families should consider knowing you and your family’s health-care rights as a veteran. Veterans who have honorably served their country should take advantage of their VA benefits – not only for their well-being, but also for their family’s health.

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