Long-term care planning and insurance is becoming more common, but not all policies are legal in New York State. To avoid being taken advantage of, call the New York State Department of Aging Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program (also known as HIICAP) at 212-333-5511. The information is free and confidential. For insurance questions other than long-term insurance, call the New York State Insurance Department at 800-342-3736.

When private-pay residents have used nearly all of their financial resources, they become eligible for Medicaid. When they reach Medicaid eligibility, residents cannot be “kicked out” of a nursing home.

If you do not accept the first bed offered, the hospital staff will review your medical chart. A hospital representative will give you a written notice of insurance non-coverage. Hospital staff will then explain the steps to follow if you choose to appeal your insurance benefits being stopped. The outcome of your appeal will be given to you in writing. It is possible that you may have to pay for any days you stay in the hospital following the day the first bed was offered to you.

There is no waiting list to get into Silvercrest. Each day we review our availability and send notices out to area hospitals. For the latest bed availability, please call 718-480-4007.

Yes. Use the optional organ and tissue donation section on the healthcare proxy form and be sure to have the section witnessed by two people. You may specify that your organs and/or tissues be used for transplantation, research or educational purposes. Any limitations associated with your wishes should be noted in this section of the proxy. Failure to include your wishes and instructions on your healthcare proxy form will not be taken to mean that you do not want to be an organ/tissue donor.

Give a copy to your agent, your doctor, your attorney and any other family members or close friends that you choose. Keep a copy in your wallet or purse or with other important papers, but not in a location where no one can access it, like a safe deposit box. Bring a copy if you are admitted to the hospital, even for minor surgery, or if you undergo outpatient surgery.

No. A living will is a document that provides specific instructions about healthcare decisions. You may also put such instructions on your healthcare proxy form. The healthcare proxy allows you to choose someone you trust to make healthcare decisions for you. Unlike a living will, a healthcare proxy does not require that you know in advance all the decisions that may arise. Instead your healthcare agent can interpret your wishes as medical circumstances change and can make decisions on matters you may not have foreseen.

No. Your healthcare agent will not be liable for healthcare decisions made in good faith on your behalf. Also, he or she cannot be held liable for costs of your care, just because he or she is your agent.

It is easy to cancel your healthcare proxy, to change the person you have chosen as your agent, or to change any instructions or limitations you have included on the form. In addition, you may indicate that your healthcare proxy expires on a specified date or if certain events occur. Otherwise, the healthcare proxy will be valid indefinitely. If you choose your spouse as your healthcare agent or your alternate and you get divorced or legally separated, the appointment is automatically cancelled. However, if you would like your former spouse to remain your agent, you may note this on your current form and date it, or complete a new form naming your former spouse.

You may appoint an alternate agent to decide for you if your healthcare agent is unavailable, unable or unwilling to act when decisions must be made. Otherwise, healthcare providers will make healthcare decisions for you that follow instructions you gave when you were still able to do so. Any instructions that you write on your healthcare proxy form will guide healthcare professionals under these circumstances.