CLIENT UPDATE – NOVEMBER, 2009

Swine flu (also known as the H1N1 virus), can be serious. Speak to your doctor about whether or not you should be vaccinated when the vaccine is available. The NAELA Bulletin reports that state and local governments throughout the country are underfunded by $1trillion (with a “t”). This may someday affect you, your children or grandchildren through higher taxes or lower benefits. There is no increase in social security benefits this year because overall inflation is zero. But don’t forget, last year the increase was 5.8%. Elder abuse should still be reported but there is a danger that due to budget cuts elder abuse reports will not be acted upon. Some red flags of elder abuse: unexplained bruises and cuts; untreated bedsores; lack of adequate food, hygiene and clothing; gifts the senior cannot afford to make; elderly person supporting “caregiver”; transfers of property by an elderly person; and isolation of the senior from friends and family. As I write this year’s update Health Care Reform has passed the House of Representatives and awaits action in the Senate. Whether it is this reform act or something else, something must be done to provide for the uninsured and rein in the high cost of health care inflation, which is often over 15% a year. The House bill also provides that Medicare can negotiate drug prices. Any bill which passes both houses will likely serve to protect those with preexisting conditions from being denied coverage. The hot button issues that could prevent passage are whether there should be a “public option” (through which the government provides insurance), and/or whether any plan approved...