LTC Bullet: Basich Balderdash on LTC Financing

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Santa Fe, NM--

LTC Comment: Forget about private insurance and rely on Medicaid to pay for your long-term care. What would you think of a financial planner who makes his living with advice like that? Why don't you let him know! More after the ***news.***

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LTC BULLET: BASICH BALDERDASH ON LTC FINANCING

LTC Comment: On May 7, 2002, we published an LTC Bullet titled "Nursing Home Care Virtually Free For Life." It summarized and gave a partial transcript of a free, hour-long, marketing video produced by an aggressive Medicaid planner. (Read all the seamy details at http://www.centerltc.com/bullets/archives2002/361.htm , plus our critique and commentary. Scroll down to the title in CAPS where the transcript and commentary begin.)

On this video, the Medicaid marketer--Zoran Basich--promises long-term care "at minimal or no cost for anyone needing care." He opines that LTC insurance "is not worth the paper it is written on."

Here's the latest: You can now view and hear excerpts from Basich's video appeal for Medicaid planning clients. Go to http://www.nhscare.com/ and click on the video links. Be sure to take your blood pressure medicine first!

If you'd like to share your opinion of his pro-Medicaid, anti-LTCI program with Mr. Basich, you can reach him here: http://www.nhscare.com/contact.html .

Now, here are some excerpts from a recent article critical of Medicaid estate planning.

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Michael Arnold Glueck and Robert J. Cihak, M.D., "Medicaid for the Wealthy," Newsmax.com, January 20, 2004, http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2004/1/20/33701.shtml

"'Be nice to your children. They're going to pick out your nursing home someday.' As wise a maxim as ever graced a Baby Boomer's bumper. Unfortunately, however, nowadays it seems there could be an additional admonition.

"'Be nice to your lawyer. He'll show you and your kids how to get the government to pay for it all.'

"Not all lawyers, of course - just some of the less ethical and more rapacious practitioners of a new specialty called 'elder law.'

"This burgeoning field includes the ancient, honorable and necessary functions of estate planning and managing the assets of seniors. But it has also devolved into yet another taxpayer rip-off: getting affluent seniors into Medicaid long-term care programs. Not Medicare - Medicaid, a program to aid the poor.

"It's lucrative, this advice-giving business of planning strategies to qualify for Medicaid via setting up Supplemental Needs Trusts, Pooled Income Trusts and Medicaid Annuities, to list just a few tactics.

"It's done by advising seniors to give assets to their children or relatives, by setting up certain kinds of financial trusts, or by putting money into special annuities so that the clients can qualify for nursing home care funded by Medicaid.

"In other words, these 'elder law' attorneys help clients artificially impoverish themselves so that they qualify for benefits designed for the poor.

"In the process, according to David J. Zumpano, a New Hartford, N.Y., elder law attorney, lawyers can increase their average planning fee three times and their average quarterly revenue by 792 percent after they've participated in his $5,995 six-day training program. . . .

"Apparently, what matters in this field is not whether what you do is right or wrong, but how well you do it. . . .

"What to do? The Center for Long-Term Care Financing (http://www.centerltc.org/) outlines a positive approach in its "LTC Choice: A Simple, Cost-Free Solution to the Long-Term Care Financing Puzzle" study (http://www.centerltc.org/pubs/recent.htm), which outlines a more direct and honest process based on the principle that 'Prosperous people who rely on public assistance for long-term care should reimburse the taxpayers before giving away their wealth to heirs.'

"Editor's Note: Robert J. Cihak wrote this week's column.

"Robert J. Cihak, M.D., is a Senior Fellow and Board Member of the Discovery Institute and a past president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Michael Arnold Glueck, M.D., is a multiple-award-winning writer who comments on medical-legal issues.

"Contact Drs. Glueck and Cihak by e-mail." Click here: http://www.newsmax.com/emailform.shtml?recipient=Glueck%20and%20Cihak