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6 Ways Health Care Directives Fail November 7, 2016

Health Care Directives

As mentioned by most health care lawyers, one of the most important pieces of a person’s estate plan is the Health Care Directive. Simply put, the Health Care Directive (or HCD for short), spells out how a person wants to be cared for when they become disabled. I say when they become disabled, because people are six times more likely to become disabled than die in a given year. We will all be disabled at one point; it could be the last 20 minutes of our life or the last 20 years.

Because of the risks of disability, it is wise to have your health care wishes legally stated. This is where the Health Care Directive comes into play. The HCD will state the treatments or procedures you would like once you become disabled. Additionally, the HCD will state the treatments or procedures you would not like. In fact, stating what you would not like may be just as important.

Since it is such an important document, the HCD should be reviewed every three to five years. Just like a Will or a Trust, the HCD may need to be updated. Here is a list of six ways that Health Care Directives fail:

1. Not in Doctor’s Hands (Accessibility) –When the time comes for you to use your Health Care Directive, you may not be conscious. If that’s the case, you will want your HCD to be in your doctor’s hands when you arrive at the hospital. In fact, this is a simple step that many people do not take, which can lead to your wishes being dismissed when a new HCD is created (see #6).

2. No HIPAA Authorization – An incredibly important document that should accompany your Health Care Directive is a HIPAA Authorization. HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This document authorizes other Loved Ones to receive updates on your treatment status. If you are an elderly parent, you may want your adult children to know about your health.

3. Not Properly Written – A Health Care Directive that is poorly written will not get better with age! Different people want different options when it comes to deciding their healthcare choices. Usually a “template” HCD cannot offer these choices.

4. Wrong Parties – The people whom you designate on your HCD should actually be the people you want to make decisions on your behalf. Surprisingly, I have seen many HCDs that spell out the wrong people (or parties).

5. Old / Out of date – What happens when the person you designated as your Agent seventeen years ago has already passed away? Or what happens when your Agent has moved to California and won’t be able to travel to Minnesota? An out of date HCD is a ticking time bomb.

Health Care Directives6. Revoked By Accident – Yes, this happens. In fact, it can happen quite easily. Here’s how: if the doctor at the emergency room asks your spouse or child about a HCD and they are unsure, they may sign a new “template” HCD right in the emergency room lobby. Chances are, this “template” HCD may not be the same as the well thought out version you completed with your attorney while you were peaceful and sound of mind.view more updated blog post http://www.valleymorningstar.com/life/health_wellness/article_6d18d11e-a160-11e6-bcac-eba4746f4cac.html

A Health Care Directive is an essential part of most people’s estate plans. However, it must be reviewed regularly to ensure that it continues to protect you as you wish. It’s a good idea to talk with an experienced health care lawyer to see what is best for you.

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10 Things Pre-Boomers Need From Health Care Reform

Health Care

With several bills coming out of both houses of congress, the health care discussion by health care lawyers appears to be far from over even though the administration wants legislation signed this year. The politics of reform are intensifying each passing day. Therefore, without regard to party affiliation, I’ve tried to identify key points for pre-boomers to consider when it comes to health care reform.

The following 10 points are in no particular order.

And, I purposely do not take into consideration what other age or demographic groups may want or need. As a pre-boomer, I believe the items listed below are, or should be, the deal breakers in any health care bill offered to my generation (those born between 1930 and 1945).

1. Ability to keep current doctor(s) and be able to visit them as needed.

2. Assurance of complete and consistent health care until death.

3. Portability of insurance, because seniors do move.

4. Coverage will not be given other groups at the expense of seniors.

5. Allow competition among insurance companies so premium costs can be lower.

6. Insurance companies cannot cancel secondary coverage no matter what.

7. No extra premiums or denials for pre-existing conditions.

8. Any reform must be deficit neutral to keep taxes from going up.

9. Test proposed plan elements rather than initiate immediate, sweeping changes.

10. Eliminate Medicare and Medicaid waste, fraud and abuse, as promised.

Reducing Medicare and Medicaid funding by over $600 billion in order to provide insurance for those currently not covered is not going to fly with most new seniors, certainly not this one. Don’t you wonder how many people are truly uninsured because they can’t afford the premiums or have pre-existing conditions versus those who, for whatever reason, choose not to buy insurance or are here illegally?

The notion that more than a half a trillion dollars in saving can be achieved by reducing waste, health care fraud and abuse is highly questionable. And if it were true, why didn’t the government take steps to realize these savings before the current debate heated up? So someone needs to identify the problems and fix them now.

There have been many implied promises but no guarantees that seniors will not be placed on some kind of rationing or other changes which result in reducing the quality of our health care and health care fraud in the years ahead. So we must be skeptical until the details are revealed.visit site from http://www.wsj.com/articles/worst-performing-stocks-of-2016-health-care-1478433602 for more info.

Health CareIn the meantime, keep the pressure on our representatives in Washington. Ask how they intend to deal with the above 10 points, plus any others you can think of. If we are respectfully persistent with questions, maybe the politicians will get the idea that pre-boomers are serious about our health care coverage. However, should they not be responsive to our needs, and then we don’t need them anymore. And we’ll vote for someone who is willing to listen to the generation of new seniors.

Don Potter, a Philadelphia native, was born in 1936 and is a 50 year veteran of the advertising agency business. Now living in Los Angeles, he has written two novels in retirement, frequently writes on marketing issues, and has a blog dedicated to pre-boomers (those born between 1930 and 1945).

Read more articles for and about pre-boomers with thoughts, comments and opinions designed to spark thinking, foster discussion, and stimulate debate by logging on to this link.

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