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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Health Reform Benefits for Older Americans

 The National Senior Citizens Law Center welcomes the Patients' Bill of Rights provisions of the Affordable Care Act, that take effect today, along with other provisions securing important benefits for older Americans.
Protections Against Chronic Insurance Abuses That Plague Older Adults
No demographic group has suffered more from insurance abuses than older adults who are not yet eligible for Medicare.   Those protections include:
  • Protections against common insurance industry practices that avoid covering treatment for the ill and injured
  • Barring insurers from arbitrarily canceling coverage after illness or injury strikes, or that requires expensive treatment
  • Barring lifetime caps on coverage amounts
  • Requiring insurers to cover preventive care, such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and immunizations, with no out-of-pocket cost – no deductibles, co-payments, or co-insurance
  • Denying or cancelling coverage due to a pre-existing medical condition

Determining Fees for Dissolution Proceedings Upon Decedent's Death

If attorney's fees incurred in dissolution proceeding which was started, but not completed, prior to decedent's death constituted a "community debt" is governed whether the fees were generated to benefit the community.  The community may be benefitted by an orderly and lawful division of assets.  The community may benefit from the entry of temporary orders to support a spouse or children.  The community may benefit from court-ordered mediation and counseling.  Court orders related to custody of children could benefit the children therefore be a community debt.  All that is required is that there be some objective intent to benefit the community even if no pecuniary benefit actually occurs based on the surrounding circumstances at the time ofthe transaction.  It does not matter if the spouse incurring the fees will benefit more than the community.  Cardinel & Stachel, P.C. vs. Kieran Curtis, widower of Leela Curtis (deceased); Estate of Leela Curtis, 2 CA-CV 2009-0163 (Sept. 3, 2010).