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By Kristin Daugherty, Long-Term Care Planner, Certified Medicaid Planner™, Certified Dementia Practioner®

Let’s face it, not many of us deal well with change. If you are like me, I always jump right to the negative aspects of the upcoming change and start to panic. So, when Pennsylvania announced that they were converting to a new long-term care Medicaid program, I instantly thought about how this change could affect people and their medical services.

If you have spent any amount of time with me, you know I am passionate about my job and helping everyone who comes into our office. This is the reason that I have devoted a great deal of time to learning about the recent changes to long-term care Medicaid. Through webinars, seminars, and phone calls with counties that were first enrolled in Community Health Choices (CHC), I have been able to learn about the good, the bad, and the ugly of CHC. Here is what you need to know.

CHC is a managed care program that will insure all Pennsylvania residents who are “dual eligible” (eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid) and need services in a nursing home or through the Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL). All dual eligible recipients must enroll in CHC with one of the three health plans that are contracted through the State of Pennsylvania; UPMC CHC, PA Health & Wellness, and Keystone First (aka AmeriHealth). Each of these health care plans contract with nursing homes, in-home care providers, and primary care physicians to meet your health care needs.

By H. Amos Goodall, Jr., CELA*

In 2005, Congress passed the REAL ID act, establishing standards for identification documents for certain purposes. Since most folks will use driver’s licenses to establish their identity, by October 20, 2020, every state and territory resident will need to present identification documents which comply with the REAL ID Act in order to obtain a “REAL ID compliant” driver’s license or identification card. For driving purposes in Pennsylvania, a REAL ID license is not required.

Under the Act, REAL ID cards are required for accessing nuclear power plants or federal facilities not open to the general public, and boarding commercial aircraft. There are probably very few readers of this article who need to access nuclear power plants who do not already have appropriate documentation, and the same is true for sections of federal facilities not open to the general public. Nevertheless, after October 20, 2020 in order to board a commercial aircraft, using a state-issued driver’s license, it will be necessary that the license meet REAL ID standards.

Julieanne Steinbacher, Esq., founding shareholder of Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchak, and founder of the National Alliance of Attorneys for Alzheimer’s Planning (N3AP), as well as Kristin Daugherty, long-term care planner, Certified Medicaid Planner™ and Certified Dementia Practitioners®, recently traveled to Tempe, Ariz., from Jan. 31 to Feb. 1 to meet with over 75 other leading elder law attorneys and key staff from across the nation. Presentations focused on Alzheimer’s and dementia planning; employee engagement in elder law firms; creating dementia friendly environments and included two options for dementia care certification training with the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCCDP). Guest speakers included Matt Paxton, speaker, podcaster and host of the hit TV show Hoarders and new show Legacy List; Nellie Stolarz, Vice President of Training with NCCDP; members of the N3AP Steering Committee; SHRM-SCP, Kolbe Certified Consultant Julie Shore; and publisher, author and coach, Mike Capuzzi.

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