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Herald Tribune: Bach a top-ranked Lawyer of the Year

Herald Tribune: Bach a top-ranked Lawyer of the Year

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.- Sarasota, FL

The Sarasota Herald Tribune covered Bach & Jacobs, PA founder Babette B. Bach's selection as a 2014 Lawyer of the Year and a Top Rated Lawyer of 2014. Babette was named a Top Rated Lawyer of 2014 as a result of her rating from Martindale-Hubbell and her expertise in the field of elder law. The legal publication Best Lawyers named Babette as a 2015 Lawyer of the Year. You can read the article by clicking here:

Babette B. Bach, Esquire, Board Certified Elder Law
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

Do I Need an EIN for my Revocable Living Trust?

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.- Sarasota, FL

Q:           Do I need an EIN for my revocable living trust?

A:            No.  If you created a trust, funded it with your money, and reserved the right to revoke it, then the IRS does not consider it a separate tax-paying entity. The the trust will not require its own taxpayer identification number or employer identification number (referred to as an “EIN”).  In fact, you cannot obtain an EIN for a trust that is revocable.  Such a trust does not file its own tax return.  If you would like to know if a trust would be appropriate for your estate plan or tax planning, contact Bach & Jacobs, P.A.  Attorney Fred Jacobs is a Board Certified Tax Lawyer and can advise you on the use of trusts in your planning.

Fredric C. Jacobs, Esquire, Board Certified Tax Lawyer
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

Health Insurance Premium Rebates Under Obamacare in Florida

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.- Sarasota, FL

Question: Do policy holders really get a rebate of their health insurance premiums paid to the health insurance company? 

Answer: Part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was insurance company reform, and part of the reform was the “80/20 rule.” The 80/20 rule requires insurance companies to spend 80 cents of every $1 received in premiums on actual health care, such as paying doctors and other medical providers.  The amount over 80% is refunded to the policyholders.  In 2014 in Florida alone, $41,679,928 in total rebates were paid to 981,273 insured policy holders.  ABC News explains it here: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/obamacare-health-insurance-rebates-check/story?id=19701785

Babette B. Bach, Esquire, Board Certified Elder Law
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

Negative Effect of Florida’s Refusal to Expand Medicaid Health Insurance

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.- Sarasota, FL

Question: Is Florida losing out because the state government won’t expand Medicaid health insurance under the Affordable Care Act?

Answer: Without getting too political on this hot button topic, the statistics speak for themselves. 1,000,000 Florida residents would benefit from Medicaid expansion in the state. And the inability of low income employees to get private health insurance will cost Florida employers between $145.7 million and $218.6 million in penalties. These penalties on employers would be avoided if these employees were eligible for Medicaid, which they would have been if Florida had expanded Medicaid. This is according to the Orlando Business Journal: http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/print-edition/2013/05/17/how-to-expand-medicaid-save-florida.html?page=all

Babette B. Bach, Esquire, Board Certified Elder Law
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

Annual Open Enrollment for Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, and Traditional Medicare: Oct. 15 – Dec. 7, 2014

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.- Sarasota, FL

This fall, Medicare beneficiaries can explore their options regarding Part D prescription drug plans and Part C Medicare Advantage plans.  The open enrollment period for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans will start on October 15th and end on December 7th. This means that Medicare beneficiaries should analyze their options and make choices by December 7, 2014.  Medicare beneficiaries who do not have a Part D plan can enroll in one, and those who do have Part D coverage can change plans.  Beneficiaries can also return to traditional Medicare from a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan, enroll in an MA plan, or change MA plans.  Enrollment requests made during Medicare open enrollment will have an effective date of January 1 of the following year.

Plan information for 2015 will be available on the Medicare Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov.  Once you get to the website, try using the “Medicare Plan Finder”, which is a plan comparison tool.  If you have trouble with the Medicare Plan Finder, you can also contact 1-800-Medicare, or their State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), for assistance with evaluating, selecting, and enrolling in a Part D plan.  Learn more at the Center for Medicare Advocacy website at: http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/annual-enrollment-for-medicare-advantage-part-c-part-d-october-15-december-7/


Babette B. Bach, Esquire, Board Certified Elder Law
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

Babette B. Bach, Esq. to Speak on End of Life Issues at Plymouth Harbor

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.- Sarasota, FL

Babette B. Bach, Esq., will present a program on end of life planning issues to residents of Plymouth Harbor on October 22, 2014.  The program will cover the legal issues that seniors should consider and the documents that are necessary to provide for a person’s wishes with regard to health care.  

Bach & Jacobs, P.A. takes a personalized approach to holistically analyze a family’s situation and a client’s wishes.  Contact Bach & Jacobs, P.A. for an initial consultation.

Babette B. Bach, Esquire, Board Certified Elder Law
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

Babette B. Bach, Esq. to Lecture about Estate Planning for Parents of Children with Special Needs

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.- Sarasota, FL

Attorney Babette B. Bach will give a presentation on estate planning for parents of children with special needs on October 14, 2014 at the Lakewood Ranch YMCA.  Topics will include planning for a child with special needs with a particular emphasis on special needs trusts.  

If you have a child with special needs and would like legal advice on how to properly plan for your child in your estate planning, please contact Bach & Jacobs, P.A. for an initial consultation.

Babette B. Bach, Esquire, Board Certified Elder Law
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

Key Enrollment Dates for the Affordable Care Act Obamacare Marketplace for 2015

Q:      What are the key enrollment dates for the Affordable Care Act Obamacare Marketplace for 2015 benefits?
A:      Upcoming dates regarding open enrollment that you should be aware of are:

  • November 15, 2014. Open Enrollment begins. Apply for, keep, or change your coverage.
  • December 15, 2014. Enroll by the 15th if you want new coverage that begins on January 1, 2015. If your plan is changing or you want to change plans, enroll by the 15th to avoid a lapse in coverage.
  • December 31, 2014. Coverage ends for 2014 plans. Coverage for 2015 plans can start as soon as January 1st.
  • February 15, 2015. This is the last day you can apply for 2015 coverage before the end of Open Enrollment.
    • To buy Marketplace insurance outside of Open Enrollment, you must qualify for a Special Enrollment Period due to a qualifying life event like marriage, birth or adoption of a child, or loss of other health coverage.  You may qualify for Special Enrollment if you lost eligibility for Medicaid or CHIP.  Special Enrollment can be useful for persons who who got an inheritance or personal injury award that makes them ineligible for Medicaid, want to avoid the Medicaid liens, and wants better private health insurance.  To learn about other life changes that could qualify you for Special Enrollment, visit the healthcare.gov website at: https://www.healthcare.gov/screener/marketplace.html

Alternative funeral/burial options: ‘Green’ Burials

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.

Barbara Peters Smith, an excellent journalist in Sarasota, recently wrote a front-page article for the Sarasota Herald Tribune about the growing popularity of ‘green’ burials.  Such burials are an environmentally-friendly alternative to embalming and cremation.  Some land trusts in Florida have established ‘conservation cemeteries’ which provide families the opportunity to have an earth-friendly burial while supporting the conservation of environmentally sensitive land.  Bach & Jacobs, PA often include funeral preferences in the estate planning documents prepared for clients.  If you are interested in including the concept of green burials in your estate plan, contact Bach & Jacobs, PA to speak with attorneys Fred Jacobs and Sean Byrne, who have a background representing land conservation organizations and can provide you information about this option.  You can read Barbara Peters Smith’s article here: http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20140906/article/140909768

Sean M. Byrne, Esq.
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
www.bachjacobs.com

Beware of paying fees for information you can download for free from Florida County websites

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.

Question:  A few weeks after having a deed to my residence recorded in the public records, I received a “Recorded Deed Notice” from “Record Transfer Services” in California offering me a copy of my deed and a profile of my property for $83.  Do I need to pay this?  Is this a scam?

Answer:  The short answer is: No, you do not have to pay for these documents and it may be a scam.  In fact, in Sarasota and Manatee counties in Florida, you can obtain the very same information for free by downloading it from the county government websites.   The “notice” you received likely came from a private company.  Such correspondence may be from a private company trying to get you to pay for free public records.  These companies are required to have a disclosure admitting they are not a government agency.  The County Clerks of both Sarasota and Manatee provide electronic copies of deeds recorded in the last 20 years for free download. 

You can search the Sarasota County Clerk’s records here: https://clerkpublicrecords.scgov.net/RealEstate/SearchEntry.aspx and the Manatee County’s Clerk’s records here: http://www.manateeclerk.com/Chips/OfficialRecords/search.aspx

The County Property Appraiser and the County Tax Collector in each of those counties also provides a summary page of information about your property, including the assessed value, tax owed, and legal description—all for free on the agencies’ respective websites. For Sarasota County, the site is: http://www.sc-pa.com/testsearch and Manatee County, it is: http://www.manateepao.com/ManateeFL/search/commonsearch.aspx?mode=parid

 
Sean M. Byrne, Esq.
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue
Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
www.bachjacobs.com

 

How to choose a healthcare plan on the Obamacare Marketplace?

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
    
Question:    How do I choose a health plan on the Obamacare Health Insurance Marketplace? 

Answer:      Below are some basic questions to consider in evaluating a health insurance plan.

  • Is there out-of-network coverage?
  • Does that out-of-network spending accrue toward the member’s out-of-pocket maximum?
  • Do members need a primary care physician gatekeeper?
  • Are my current doctors participants in the plan’s ‘network’?

Kaiser Health News provides these and additional suggestions in an article found here: http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/stories/2014/august/19/hows-a-consumer-to-know-what-health-plan-is-best.aspx

Sean M. Byrne, Esquire
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

Distinctions Among the Various Types of Health Plans

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A., Sarasota, FL


Q: I am trying to apply for health insurance in the Obamacare federal Marketplace because Florida has refused to create its own exchange. Can you explain the distinctions among the various types of health plans (ie, HMOs and EPOs)?

A: Kaiser Health News recently published a simple definition of the general types of health plans sold on the individual market. You can read the full article here: http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/stories/2014/august/19/hows-a-consumer-to-know-what-health-plan-is-best.aspx. Below is an excerpt:

  • Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) cover only care provided by doctors and hospitals inside the HMO's network. HMOs often require members to get a referral from their primary care physician in order to see a specialist.
  • Preferred provider organizations (PPOs) cover care provided both inside and outside the plan's provider network. Members typically pay a higher percentage of the cost for out-of-network care.
  • Exclusive provider organizations (EPOs) are a lot like HMOs: They generally don't cover care outside the plan's provider network. Members, however, may not need a referral to see a specialist.
  • Point of Service (POS) plans vary, but they're often a sort of hybrid HMO/PPO. Members may need a referral to see a specialist, but they may also have coverage for out-of-network care, though with higher cost sharing.


Babette B. Bach, Esquire
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

 

Ever Wonder What Happens to a Deceased Person's Online Accounts After They Pass Away

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A., Sarasota, FL


Ever wonder what happens to a deceased person’s online accounts after they pass away?

With so many people going ‘paperless’ and communicating online, the Personal Representative of a probate estate may have trouble identifying online accounts and obtaining the digital content in those accounts.  The state of Delaware recently passed a law that gives estate attorneys, executors and other fiduciaries more access to those online accounts after a person passes.  The Wall Street Journal says the Delaware law “could set a national trend” as policy makers “wrestle with how to handle the digital remains people leave behind.”  Florida may become one of the next states with similar legislation—a committee of the Florida Bar has been formed to propose such legislation.

The attorneys at Bach & Jacobs, P.A. make efforts to stay on the cutting edge of new technologies that assist our clients, including the Personal Representatives that we represent.  We recommend all trust and durable power of attorney documents specifically authorize access to this information.   We can also help you identify your digital assets and ensure that they are fully accounted for in your estate planning documents.

You can read the Wall Street Journal article here: http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2014/08/20/new-law-expands-access-to-google-facebook-accounts-of-deceased/

Attorney Babette Bach Esq. will be speaking at Inspired Living

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.a., Sarasota, FL

Attorney Babette Bach Esq. will be speaking at Inspired Living, a Sarasota memory care community, on August 7th, 2014 at 1:30pm. The topic is Probate Avoidance and the lecture will be open to the public to attend. Inspired Living is at 1900 Phillippi Shores Dr.Sarasota, FL 34231 Tel: 941-404-7888.

What To Do When Your Child Turns 26 While On Your Health Insurance Plan

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.a., Sarasota, FL

Q.  My adult daughter and I are covered through my husband's employer. Our daughter turns 26 this summer, but I thought we couldn’t sign up under the Obamacare Health Insurance Marketplace until open enrollment later this year. What is she supposed to do between her summer birthday and the Obamacare open enrollment in November?

A.   Now that your daughter is turning 26, she will eventually need to get her own plan.  The Affordable Care Act allows her to stay on her parents’ plan only until she is 26.   Here are a few things to do and/or consider:

1. Check with your husband’s employer to find out exactly when your daughter will lose her coverage.  It may be on her birthday this summer or it may be at the end of the plan year.

2. If your daughter wants to stay on your husband’s plan as long as possible, she may be able to extend it for up to 18 months under the federal law known as COBRA. Just know that she would be responsible for paying the entire cost of her premium, which could be expensive.

3  If her own job does not provide health insurance coverage, your daughter can apply for an individual plan using the federal health insurance marketplace.  Because Florida refused to enact its own state insurance marketplace, citizens of Florida have to use the federal site at healthcare.gov.  It doesn’t matter that she’s applying prior to the November “open enrollment period”.  Because she’s losing her coverage under your plan, she’ll be eligible for a special enrollment period.   Note that she may be eligible for premium tax credits to make coverage more affordable if her income is between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level (as of July 2014 the range is $11,490 and $45,960 for a single individual).

If you are an employer or a family looking to apply for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act and have questions about the tax incentives available, call Bach & Jacobs and make an appointment with Board Certified Tax Lawyer Fred Jacobs.


Fredric C. Jacobs, Esquire
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

 

How Does Your State Rank Regarding Long Term Care?

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.a., Sarasota, FL

A:  A new study from AARP indicates long term care varies dramatically in cost and quality depending on where a person lives in the United State.  You can find the ‘scorecard’ that ranks all the states based on 26 different variables here: http://www.longtermscorecard.org/ Unfortunately, Florida ranks in the bottom 25% based on the study’s criteria.

All the more reason to have a Board Certified Elder Lawyer advise you about your options.  You can listen to a recent NPR story about the study here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/06/19/323356217/how-your-state-rates-in-terms-of-long-term-care.

To make an appointment with Board Certified Elder Lawyer Babette B. Bach, contact Bach & Jacobs today.

Babette B. Bach, Esquire
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

 

What Happens If An Employer Discontinues Retiree's Health Insurance Plan?

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.a., Sarasota, FL

Kaiser Health News recently answered readers’ questions about the Affordable Care Act and the federal Marketplace exchange, which has caused a lot of confusion for folks.  Here’s an excerpt From: http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2014/May/20/Andrews-IYH.aspx?p=1


Q:   I will be retiring this year from my company, before age 65. My company is dropping retiree health care in January, stating that retirees younger than 65 can elect coverage through the exchanges. Will the company be required to offer COBRA starting in January? I fear that coverage will be expensive through the exchanges since we will not be eligible for any subsidies due to my husband's $200,000 income. He’s self-employed and covered under my company's health plan.


A:  In general, if an employer discontinues its retiree plan, it's not required to offer retirees the opportunity to extend their coverage for up to 18 months under the federal law known as COBRA, according to a Treasury Department official. The cancellation of your retiree plan will create a special enrollment opportunity for you to sign up for a plan on the health insurance exchanges. You won’t need the special sign-up period; however, since January is midway through the annual open enrollment period that runs from Nov. 15 through Feb. 15 when people can change plans anyway.


As you note, you won’t be eligible for subsidized coverage on the exchange because your husband’s income exceeds 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($62,920 for a couple next year). But it’s worth checking out plans on the marketplace anyway, says Laurel Lucia, a policy analyst at the Center for Labor Research and Education at the University of California, Berkeley. Depending on your health needs, a marketplace plan might be a better fit. “The typical job-based plan resembles a gold or platinum marketplace plan, but on the marketplace they’d have the option of buying silver and bronze level plans as well,” she says. Many individuals find the costs of Marketplace plans are much more affordable than COBRA plan rates.


Babette B. Bach, Esquire
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

 

VA Still Paying American Civil War Pension

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A., Sarasota, FL


The war’s been over for nearly 150 years, but the Department of Veterans’ Affairs is still providing a pension payment a child of a Civil War Veteran as of June 2013, according to U.S. News and World Report.  The last surviving solder from the Civil War died in 1958.


Read the interesting story here: http://www.usnews.com/news/newsgram/articles/2013/07/03/one-civil-war-veterans-pension-remains-on-governments-payroll 


If you need legal advice for VA planning, Asset Protection Planning, or Medicaid planning, please contact our office for an initial consultation.


To learn more about recent news regarding VA benefits in Florida, visit our website: http://www.bach-elder-law.com/blog/tag/327-va-florida

Babette B. Bach, Esquire
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

Babette Bach featured in Herald-Tribune Article Regarding Medicaid Privatization

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A., Sarasota, FL  

Our own Babette Bach was quoted in a recent story by Sarasota Herald Tribune reporter Barbara Peters Smith about the privatization of Medicaid.

Read it here: http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20140627/ARTICLE/306279989/2055/NEWS?template=printpicart


Babette B. Bach, Esquire
Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

The 30th Anniversary of Babette Bach's prestigious AV Rating!

Posted by Bach & Jacobs, P.A., Sarasota, FL

Congratulations Babette on being an AV rated elite attorney for 30 years!!

Bach & Jacobs, P.A.
240 S. Pineapple Avenue, Suite 700
Sarasota, FL 34236
941-906-1231
941-954-1185 facsimile
www.bachjacobs.com

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