The U.S. House of Representatives passes H.R.2646 – The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act

July 6th, 2016: This week, the United States House of Representatives passed H.R.2646 – the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. In a recent press release issued by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mary Giliberti explains: “H.R. 2646 addresses gaps in America’s mental health system and accommodates different perspectives…

OSERS “Dear Colleague” Letter: New Policy Guidance on Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

On November 16, 2015, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services of the United States Department of Education issued a “Dear Colleague” Letter regarding its new Policy Guidance on Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).  In this letter, OSERS states that for children with disabilities who are below grade level, IEPs should include “ambitious” goals…

September 2015 – The Zahner Decision

The Zahner Decision by Anthony Marone, Esq. McAndrews Law Offices, P.C. September 2015 – Since the passage of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (“DRA”), the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (“Department”) has attempted to limit the use of annuities in the asset protection strategy known as “half-a-loaf” gifting.  Half-a-loaf gifting is a technique used…

Congress Overwhelmingly Approves Bill Bolstering Medicare Patients’ Hospital Rights

July 29th, 2015 by Susan Jaffe, Kaiser Health News The U.S. Senate unanimously approved legislation Monday night requiring hospitals across the nation to tell Medicare patients when they receive observation care but have not been admitted to the hospital. It’s a distinction that’s easy to miss until patients are hit with big medical bills after…

Fourteenth Amendment Requires States to License and Recognize Same-Sex Marriages (U.S.)

Plaintiffs, a varied group of same-sex partners, filed suits in Federal District Courts within their respective states asserting state officials were in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment for denying same-sex marriages and failing to recognize same-sex marriages lawfully performed in other jurisdictions. Each District Court favored the plaintiffs’ position, however on appeal the Sixth Circuit…

Federal Tax Credits Are Available to All Eligible Individuals Regardless of Whether Insurance Was Purchased Through State or Federal Exchange (U.S.)

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act allows individuals to purchase health insurance through “exchanges” — a marketplace to compare and purchase insurance products — that are run by either the state or federal government. The Act authorizes federal tax credits to low and middle-income individuals who have enrolled in coverage through “an exchange established…