Today’s ‘new’ normal brings with it many changes, many unknowns, and a plethora of financial and health issues. So many have lost their employment, and with that, their health coverage. What used to be a carefree trip to the doctor or Urgent Care is now a major financial hardship: should you eat this week or get medical attention?
As a health insurance broker, I have witnessed the astronomical increases in all levels of health care coverage. What about the cost of medication? That follows right on the tail of health coverage. I receive countless calls each day requesting health coverage; ‘The cheapest you have. I’ve lost my job and can’t afford it anymore.’
I’m here to tell you that there is a way to receive medical attention for non-life-threatening situations and medications at minimal to no cost! It’s called Telecare.
The definition of Telecare has changed over time as new technology has shaped the face of modern telemedicine. The basic definition of Telecare is ‘care offered to patients remotely via telecommunications technology, either through synchronous (live video) or asynchronous means (store-and-forward, remote patient monitoring).’ Telecare is often used to expand patient access to care, help patients manage recovery and well-being at home. Many of your insurance carriers now offer this service. The catch is figuring out how mush they charge. Some charge $49.95 each time you call and there are others that charge absolutely nothing—you can call 20 times that day for 20 different reasons and there’s never a charge. The responding physician writes down your medical issue, asks a few more questions, and calls in a prescription to your pharmacy. They will tell you to follow up with your primary care physician within 48-72 hours if you are not improving. Now you have saved valuable time and money.
In addition to cost and time savings, by utilizing Telecare consumers now need to ‘shop’ for the best pharmaceutical price for their medications. Automatically going to your local pharmacy is not the best solution. Did you know that there are pharmacies that provide some antibiotics for free? Diabetic medication for free? Websites that list which pharmacy in your neighborhood and at what price they will fill a medication? Here are a few:
If you would like assistance finding the most cost effective Telecare program and how to obtain medications the most cost effective way, please contact me.
MJ Johnson, MSN, RN, LLC, Healthcare Solutions Team, District Partner/Team Leader
email@example.com. 941.286.5002. Mjjohnsonconciergecoverage.com
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Giving Gifts To Grandchildren:
Tools That Can Be Used To Protect Those Gifts
In 2020, an individual can give $15,000 a year to each grandchild gift-tax free. A married couple can give each grandchild a combined sum of $30,000 annually. But in some circumstances making an outright gift might not be in the best interest of the grandchild. Does the grandchild have good judgment in money matters? Perhaps the grandchild has a disability and is receiving or could be eligible to receive government benefits. If such a gift is made, the grandchild could lose those benefits as a result of the gift.
529 College Savings Plan
One option to consider is opening a 529 College Savings Plan for the grandchild. These funds can only be used for educational expenses. You can use the annual tax free gift amount but you can also make a lump sum totaling five years’ worth of contributions ($75,000 per individual or $150,000 for a married couple) in one year.
To qualify for an ABLE account, the grandchild must have a disabling condition that began before age 26. The grandchild can only have one ABLE account. However anyone can contribute money to the ABLE account. Annual contributions are capped at $15,000 per year. While contributions to an ABLE account will not disqualify the grandchild from receiving government benefits, if the grandchild is receiving SSI, the account balance cannot exceed $100,000.
Unless the value of your estate is over your lifetime federal estate tax exemption of $11,580,000 (for 2020) creating a revocable trust and leaving some of your estate to each grandchild in trust should be considered.
The grandchild with poor money management skills.
In a Revocable Trust you can create a separate trust for each grandchild. While you are alive, you have complete control over the funds but upon your passing the terms of the trust agreement will specify the circumstances in which a distribution may be made to the grandchild. A spendthrift provision should be included in the trust to protect the grandchild’s interest in the trust from creditor’s claims.
The disabled grandchild.
If the grandchild has been diagnosed with a disability and either is receiving or might receive government benefits, the trust agreement should create a Special Needs Trust for the grandchild. A Special Needs Provision, if drafted correctly, can provide funds that can be used for the benefit of the disabled grandchild without affecting his or her eligibility for government benefits.
Attorney Patricia Ferrari has an office in the West Villages office complex located at 19503 S. West Villages Parkway, Suite A1-105, Venice, Florida 34293. She can be contacted at 941.993.9297.
An outright annual gift can result in unintended consequences.
A grandchild with special needs can lose government benefits.
A gift can be squandered if a grandchild has poor judgment.