HIPAA Privacy Rules Revealed

Just between you and me, what you don’t know could hurt you Imagine you have a nineteen-year-old daughter away at college about three hundred miles from your home. Her roommate calls to say there’s something terribly wrong. She tells you that your daughter is speaking incoherently and behaving unusually, and you hear it for yourself when your daughter is put on the phone. Knowing that there’s a serious medical problem, you suggest that the roommate […]

When Your Child Becomes an Adult: Practical Solutions to Potential Problems

When a child who has special needs becomes a legal adult (18 years old in most states), a parent is no longer recognized as a person who can make decisions for that child. If your child is two to three years or less from this significant birthday, this is the time to evaluate your situation. What changes? What’s at risk? “Depending on your child’s level of self-care and decision-making abilities, leaving your child to make […]

Recent Military Retirement Benefits Law Reform is a Much Anticipated and Welcomed Change

The Disabled Military Child Protection Act, signed into law by President Obama in December, 2014, changed the law affecting retirement benefits for military personnel – and opened the door to improving the financial futures for military dependents with special needs. No longer an either/or choice Before this legislative change, a military parent, through his or her military retirement plan, could provide survivor benefits for a child with special needs. It could supplement the child’s income, […]

What type of Insurance should I Buy?

BY ROBERT WRUBEL, CFP®, AIF® WE SHOULD USE LIFE INSURANCE TO COVER POTENTIAL LOSSES AT THOSE TIMES WHERE THE LOSSES ARE OTHERWISE UNAFFORDABLE. Harry Potter fans know that Harry’s house was protected by an unbreakable charm. He was safe from frightening foes as long as he was inside the protection. Harry did not know about the protection until he was close to being an adult, but the protection was in place all the same. As […]

Managing Your Medical Bills & Insurance Paperwork

MANAGING YOUR MEDICAL BILLS & INSURANCE PAPERWORK: TIPS FOR MAXIMIZING REIMBURSEMENT BY HARVEY J. MATOREN, MPH, CCAP Do you become frustrated and overwhelmed when managing your medical bills and filing your health insurance claims? You’re not alone. It can be extremely difficult for the average patient or caregiver to get through the “maze of insurance land.” For people with a chronic or terminal illness, or acute episodes of illness as well, managing and filing insurance […]

What Insurance Doesn’t Cover For Children With Genetic Conditions

BY BETH H. VOGEL, MS, CGC A Survey of Parents in the New York-Mid-Atlantic Region NYMAC conducted a consumer survey to identify gaps in coverage and to assess care coordination. The results of the survey will be used to create tools for advocacy. The New York-Mid-Atlantic Consortium for Genetic and Newborn Screening Services (NYMAC) is a Regional Genetics Collaborative funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration. NYMAC serves individuals with genetic conditions living in […]

Teaching Fiscal Responsibility To Children

BY JENNIFER WOODWORTH, PSY.D Creating boundaries when they are young and allowing more freedom as they get older, produces children who are savvy about how and why they are spending their money. Starting in kindergarten, and even before, children are learning about money; what coins and dollar bills look like, how much they are worth, and the symbols that differentiate them from each other. However, it is more likely that children are watching their parents […]

A GPS for Families of People with Special Needs – Part III

BY LAUREN AGORATUS INTRODUCTION I wrote this manual to help other families of individuals with special needs and the professionals who work with them. My daughter now has five life-threatening conditions, and autism just to keep things interesting. We have been through everything from early intervention to currently going through transition to adult care. I hope this helps you on your journey. Part III follows; to review Parts I and II, see the September and […]

Strive for the Right Financial Strategy for You: A Professional with the Chartered Special Needs Consultant Designation Can Help

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter – it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain wrote that in a letter, and while it referenced the writing life, the same analogy could be applied to financial strategies for persons with special needs. What’s the difference? More than ten years ago, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) recognized that, in regards to the […]


BY SARAH ROTH, MFA Ginahelp.org provides an introduction to GINA and its protections in health insurance and employment. Knowledge can be both frightening and empowering, and knowledge of your child’s predisposition for a genetic condition is no exception. Moreover, the decision to pursue genetic testing can provide as many questions as answers. From a small sample of skin, saliva or blood, your family is given a set of signs—pluses, minuses, numbers and letters—that foretell the […]