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2000 September - October

Recent Developments in the Medicare Program

By Kim Glaun, Vicki Gottlich & Rochelle Bobroff

The last year saw numerous Medicare developments, including two U.S. Supreme Court decisions on jurisdictional issues. The Health Care Financing Administration's efforts to address issues related to coverage determinations may address some problems while creating new ones. Regulations governing Medicare+Choice plans became final in July, and the first such private fee-for-service plan has commenced operation.

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Current Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Developments in Congress and the Supreme Court

By Gerald A. McIntyre & Jenny Kaufmann

The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 expanded health care coverage for social security disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries who want to work but do not want to risk losing health care benefits. For SSI recipients, the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 reinstated the penalty for transferring resources for less than fair market value. Relevant Supreme Court decisions as well as the district court decision in Ford v. Shalala, finding that written notices in the SSI program are inadequate, are reviewed.

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A Primer on Private Pension Plans

By Mary Ellen Signorille

Because pensions can make a critical difference in how well people live in retirement, understanding the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and related pension issues is important for advocates trying to find additional sources of income for their clients.

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Litigation Strategies for Medicare and Medicaid Home Health Coverage

By Sarah Lenz Lock & Dorothy Siemon

Home health care, an essential choice of every senior citizen, is protected by state and federal legislation. Four class action home health care litigation cases—highlighting legal standards and defense arguments encountered by elder care advocates—show how elder law advocates are seeking to ensure that seniors receive appropriate home health services.

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Access to Home Health Care Through Medicare and Medicaid

The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly

By Herbert Semmel

An innovative program for the delivery of home health care services, the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly allows seniors, while living in their community, to enroll in a comprehensive home health care service delivery system. It allows flexibility and autonomy for seniors seeking home care coverage. Several states have adopted this program.

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The Survival of Grandparent Visitation Statutes

By Rochelle Bobroff

Grandparent visitation statutes enacted in all 50 states have opened courthouse doors to grandparents seeking greater access to their grandchildren. In Troxel v. Granville the U.S. Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional one of the broadest state grandparent visitation statutes. However, the plurality opinion explicitly stated that the decision did not invalidate the other state statutes. Thus more narrowly drawn grandparent visitation statutes should survive the Troxel decision.

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Is Welfare Reform Right for Grandparents?

Structuring Welfare Reform to Accommodate the Needs of Older Adults in Families with Children

By John Bouman

Multigeneration low-income families are feeling the brunt of welfare reform. Although policymakers often do not consider seniors and children together in a larger notion of "family policy," public policies and implementation systems involving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and other benefit programs can be variously adapted toward improving the lives of older adults in families with children.

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