People don’t plan to fail they fail to plan! When you read what I write about below, you will have a head start on your neighbors, when the need arises. I am covering the following areas, on which I have gained insight while observing my mother in laws challenges when going into Eisenhower: 1) Medicare Criteria for Admission to Hospitals; 2) Health Care Directives and 3) Aid and Attendance.

I have practiced law for over 35 years, but, like most of you I was not aware of certain issues until they came up with our family. Read this so you don’t have the same confusion.

Medicare Criteria for Admission to Hospitals:

When my mother in law went to the ER at Eisenhower, they would not admit her because she did not fit all the criteria listed in the computer for Medicare admission. Instead, she remained in the hospital in a curtained off “Observation” room for a few days, and was sent home only to return to the ER in a few days with the same issues. As an attorney I had never heard of this procedure and it apparently is just being implemented by hospitals.


A few days later she returned to the ER and she was placed in an Observation room again. This time it looked like a regular hospital room. She remained in observation for a few days. After 3 days she was “admitted”. For Medicare to kick in, certain criteria must be met according to the new “Medicare guidelines” that are not yet well known.

If you remain in the hospital for a minimum of 3 days, you are then admitted and Medicare will pay for rehabilitation (skilled nursing) costs for physical therapy after you are released. If it is not 3 nights then the resulting PT is on your nickel.

I now understand, that if all the criteria are not met, then if the hospital admits a patient the hospital will NOT get paid by Medicare. This is a new world and we need to know about this.

Health Care Directives:

I also learned on this hospital trip that we should give a copy of our health care directive to the hospital ahead of time. It will instruct the hospital what to do in case a patient can not make their own decision. It is probably a good idea to give JFK, Desert Regional and Eisenhower these directives so that if we or a loved one ever needs to go to any hospital, the hospital will have instructions to follow in case of an emergency.

Though I had prepared Health Care Directives for my entire family (including my daughter), I never knew that we should provide our local hospitals with these directives before the need arises.

Aid and Attendance:

My wife Patti had a TV Show filmed at CBS Palm Springs,  where she interviewed Financial Planners from all over the country. When sitting in on one of the shows, I heard them talk about Aid and Attendance. This was a term that had never presented itself to me. I did not learn about it in law school or in the practice of law. Maybe it is because lawyers cannot charge for helping clients with Aid and Attendance. When I asked local lawyers none of them had ever heard of it.

The Department of Veteran Affairs offers this little known benefit to any war era Veterans, who are at least 65 years old, along with their surviving Spouses. It is called AID AND ATTENDANCE and is available to anyone who served in the military while the US was involved in a WAR… anywhere in the world. You merely have to have been in the service. You need not have participated in the war.

Aid and Attendance is a tax-free benefit designed to provide financial assistance to help cover the cost of long term care in the home, in an assisted living facility or in a nursing home. If you are a Surviving Spouse you can get $1,244/month…TAX FREE. If you are a VET the amount is $1,936/mo and if you are a Married VET you can get $2,295/month…and you do not have to pay it back as of 2021.

Setting up a TRUST for your home can keep your net worth down so you may qualify. To see if you qualify call 877 427 8065 American Veterans Aid, which I believe is a private company. You can also send a completed VA form to your pension management center (PMC). Use VA Form 21-2680 (PDF) or apply in person to your nearest VA office.


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