Elderlaw News November 2011

November 2011

To Clients, Colleagues and FriendsTo Clients, Colleagues, and Friends:

We are pleased to announce that Shannon N. Christof is now a Certified Elder Law Attorney. The CELA designation is the only elder law specialization accredited by the American Bar Association and authorized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Shannon makes the fifth Certified Elder Law Attorney at Julian Gray Associates, more than any other elder law firm in Western Pennsylvania.

Medicare’s Open Enrollment Season Already Underway

This year’s holiday shopping season has begun early for Medicare beneficiaries: the program’s Open Enrollment Period, during which you can enroll in or switch plans, began October 15 and ends on December 7.


Average Cost of a Private Nursing Home Room Tops $87,000 a Year

The cost of long-term care continues its upward climb, according to the 2011 MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home, Assisted Living, Adult Day Services, and Home Care Costs. Private room nursing home rates rose 4.4 percent to $87,235 a year or $239 a day, while assisted living facility costs jumped 5.6 percent on average to $41,724 a year or $3,477 a month.


Book Review: Retirement Heist: How Companies Plunder and Profit from the Nest Eggs of American Workers

The news is full of stories about how private sector retiree pensions and health insurance plans are in financial trouble. Written by an investigative journalist for the Wall Street Journal, this book explains how the companies themselves played a big role in draining these plans.


Make Sure Your Power of Attorney Complies with Federal Privacy Law

A power of attorney and a health care proxy are two of the most important estate planning documents you can have, but in some instances they may be useless if they don’t comply with the federal privacy law.


Communicating End-of-Life Wishes Pays Off Where Aggressive Treatment Is the Norm

A new study finds that when medical personnel know what kind of care a patient wants at the end of life, Medicare can be spared significant sums and the patient is more likely to die at home rather than in a hospital, at least in certain areas.