Caring for disabled family members is often a lifelong undertaking. Such care can include things like therapy, learning courses, and even expensive medical treatments. As a result, many families have a difficult time adequately covering these expenses, in addition to other daily costs. While federal benefit programs like Social Security can be helpful in some cases, not all needs can be adequately met by such aid.
Providing an improved level of care to the disabled was the prime motivating factor in the creation of the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014. Also known as the ABLE Act, this legislation has effectively changed decades-old laws limiting the amount of money disabled individuals can save before infringing upon their existing benefits.
What Is the ABLE Act?
The ABLE Act aims to take the burden off both the disabled and their families by establishing tax-free savings accounts to be used for everyday expenses. These accounts can help cover things like transportation, medical care, and even training courses for future employment.
Additionally, creating an ABLE account does not affect other benefits programs, such as Medicaid or private insurance coverage. This is a very important aspect, as many families rely on a multitude of benefit packages to ably care for their disabled family members.
Key Factors in Establishing ABLE Accounts
When establishing an ABLE Account, it’s important to be aware of a few key factors that can affect the overall process. Being fully informed of the benefits of such accounts can help families make an educated decision regarding the care of their loved ones:
• Opening an Account – ABLE Accounts are to be managed on a state-by-state basis. At present, the establishment of accounts is on hold until guidelines are set on the specific criteria necessary to open an account. It is projected that ABLE Accounts will be available before the end of 2015, at which time further information will be made public.
• Determining Eligibility – In order to receive an ABLE Account, one must prove that the disability in question occurred before age 26. Additionally, disabilities must be deemed as significant, thereby requiring special care to maintain a reasonable standard of living. Future regulations are pending, which will expand upon the specific proof required.
• Allowable Expenses – ‘Qualified disability expenses’ cover a range of much-needed items. Virtually anything related to the needs of the disabled can be procured through the account, including support services, education, health care costs, assistive devices, and even training related to employment.
Other considerations will include the number of allowable accounts, the difference between accounts and trusts, and the limit on annual contributions into an account. Once these terms are agreed upon, eligible families can then begin establishing accounts to further benefit their loved ones.
Medical Facility Optimization Made Easy
While the ABLE Act is essential in creating better lives for the disabled, providing high-quality medical care is also extremely important. That’s why Raintree Systems remains devoted to affording medical personnel with the tools necessary to manage everything from patient records to billing and payment procedures. For more information on all that we can do for medical facilities and more, please contact us today at 800-333-1033.