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E-Newsletter of April 9, 2013 | Vol. 6, No. 14

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ARTICLE OF THE WEEK

Minnesota's Insurance Exchange

An insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) moved one step closer to becoming a reality in Minnesota after the State's enactment last month of Minnesota Statute section 62V.01 (the "Minnesota Insurance Marketplace Act").  The insurance exchange website is called MNSure and can be accessed at: http://www.mn.gov/hix/.

Under the ACA, by 2014, health insurance will be mandatory for all Americans, and insurance exchanges are supposed to allow persons to easily comparison-shop for the best plan at the best price.  Initially, individuals who are not covered under an employer's plan and small businesses with up to 50 employees can use MNSure.  Larger employers may be allowed to participate in 2017.  Approximately 1.3 million Minnesotans and small businesses are expected to buy their health coverage through the exchange, including 300,000 who are now uninsured. 

There will be a seven-member MNSure board, which will have the authority to pick and choose the insurance plans that will be available.  One of the six members of the board must have experience in representing the needs of vulnerable populations and persons with disabilities.

There will be subsidies for individuals with incomes of up to 400% FPG (or about $92,000 per year).  In addition, the insurance plans must provide coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.  As such, the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association (MCHA) will be terminated with the expectation that current MCHA enrollees will transition onto MNSure.   

There will be a call center and in-person assisters intended to provide counseling on all public and qualifying health insurance options.  In other words, all inquiries regarding health coverage will be routed through one central system.  The commissioner is also to ensure that the navigator program provides application assistance for all marketplace and public health care programs.  Practitioners should carefully consider the implications this will have for your client base and the ability for you to have meaningful input in relation to government benefit planning.
The challenge for the State and the MNSure board is to have the system up and running in time to start enrolling its first customers by October 1, 2013, with coverage starting January 1, 2014.

Submitted by Cathryn Reher, Esq.
creher@mnelderlaw.com


Elder Law News

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Choosing Well: Long Term Care Facilities – Part I | Waseca County News

Minnesotans see impact from federal sequestration cuts | Grand Forks Herald

House DFL cuts to spare nursing homes | MPR News

Cost of Alzheimer's | Crookston Times

State Supreme Court rules against grandparents, says foster parents may adopt | MPR News

Submitted by Joel Smith, Esq.
joel@koslawfirm.com




Elder Law Cases

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The MN Supreme Court recently decided a case regarding grandparent/third party custody. Two children's foster parents filed a petition to adopt the children, as did the children's grandparents. The district court concluded that it was in the best interests of the children to be adopted by the foster parents and accordingly granted the foster parents' petition. The court then denied the adoption petition of the grandparents. The court of appeals affirmed. The grandparents appealed, contending that the district court erred in not according them preference and ignoring the plain language of Minn. Stat. 259.57(2)(c) by considering the grandparents' and the foster parents' petitions side-by-side. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court properly applied section 259.57(2)(c) and did not abuse its discretion in concluding that adoption by the foster parents was in the children's best interests. (Justia.com Opinion Summary)

Submitted by Joel Button, Esq.
joelbutton@mac.com


Elder Law Statutes, Regulations, and Bulletins

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There are no new statutes, regulations or bulletins to report this week. 


Upcoming Events and CLE Programs

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This summer, Hamline Law is offering Elder Law both for law school credit and for CLE.  It will be taught by former Elder Section chair Suzy Scheller, and runs from June 14-17. To view the schedule and course description, click here.

Submitted by Thaddeus Pope, J.D., Ph.D.
tpope01@hamline.edu

 

Elder Law Section Activities

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MA COMMITTEE MEETING: The next MA Committee meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, 2013. The Medical Assistance Committee is a study group to analyze Elder Law Section member questions and case studies and to discuss administrative policies and procedures in relation to Medical Assistance in Minnesota.  Cathryn D. Reher of Long, Reher & Hanson, P.A., is Committee Chair.  For directions, or to attend by phone, please contact Tracie Fenske with Long, Reher & Hanson, P.A., at 952-929-0622 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. Topics for the meeting may be submitted to tfenske@mnelderlaw.com under the subject heading “MA Committee Topic”, or faxed to 952-542-9201. Please be reminded that the meeting location is: Estate & Elder Law Services (formerly MAO Legal Services), Monroe Village, 1900 Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55418. The meeting takes place in the building’s conference room. There are a few parking spaces behind the building and lots of street parking. People should walk to the back of the building and come to the back door which faces directly into the meeting room.

 
GOVERNING COUNCIL: 
 The next meeting of the Elder Law Section Governing Council will be on Friday, April 19, 2013 at 3:30 pm. Please be reminded that the meeting location is: Estate & Elder Law Services (formerly MAO Legal Services), Monroe Village, 1900 Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55418. The meeting takes place in the building’s conference room. There are a few parking spaces behind the building and lots of street parking. People should walk to the back of the building and come to the back door which faces directly into the meeting room. For further information, please contact Laura Zdychnec, Chair, at: lzdychnec@mnelderlaw.com.

 

Elder Law Website

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DON'T FORGET THAT THE ELDER LAW WEBSITE IS A GREAT RESOURCE. Here’s what you can find on the Website:  Links to the DHS Health Care Programs Manual, the DHS Bulletin on treatment of uncompensated transfers, the Minnesota Bankers Association Compliance Bulletin on Powers of Attorney, legislative summary; Practice Links to organizations such as NAELA, ABA Commission on Law and Aging, Links to Federal and State Government Agencies, Statutes, and Regulations; Meeting Notices, Listings of Officers and Council Members, Section Bylaws, and more.

 

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