Minutes of 6/11/15: ‘S.T.A.R.S. and Seniors’

Screen shot 2015-05-22 at 12.44.07 PMMeeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush
June 11, 2015

Attending (19): Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Terry Brewer, April Dowd, Jim Leyhane, Peter Brown, A.J. Amato, Debbie Brown, Ray Hannan, Geoff Brewer, Len Leonidas, Shannon Romanowski, Dick Drumm, Charlie Foote, Debbie Rodriguez, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Stewart Wagner.

Guests (2): Walter Tuszinsky, Sharon Tuszinsky.

PROGRAM: “S.T.A.R.S. and Seniors”

Sharon and Walter Tuszynski.
Sharon and Walter Tuszynski.

A.J. Amato introduced Walter and Sharon Tuszynski, who work with Medicaid applications under the title “S.T.A.R.S. for Seniors, L.L.C.” (“S.T.A.R.S.” is the acronym for “Sharon Tuszynski’s Application and Referral Service.”)

Walter explained the options for seniors who may be receiving care  in a nursing home: self-pay, longterm care insurance, which he termed very expensive, or Medicaid. He supplied a booklet with several documents and forms delineating the guidelines and steps to be taken to enroll the dependent spouse in Medicaid.

The resource allowance for 2015 is $14,850, but other programs allow for additional funds such as life insurance valued at $1,500. He also described such items as the Community Spouse Resource Allowance, treatment of IRA, Spousal Refusal, and using trusts to protect spousal assets.

Sharon detailed the 60-month “look back” period for transfers to trusts, which the government will scrutinize to ascertain any financial transfers, the penalty period that could stem from unallowable transfers, and exempt transfers (such as the homestead or of assets). And, she explained how to protect assets with promissory notes and Medicaid trusts or family trusts.

The Tuszynskis, who reside in East Greenbush, are available for consultation and assistance in setting up trusts and for other related concerns. Phone: 283-5363.


CHANGEOVER DINNER — President Bill Dowd reminded members to make reservations for the June 25 event to be hosted by the Browns. Attendees are asked to bring an appetizer or salad. Main dishes will be provided.

GREAT AMERICAN MILK DRIVE — Next week is the final opportunity to contribute to this year’s “Pocket Change” program beneficiary. Bill will check with Price Chopper which has just begun advertising a matching-funds contribution for the drive. Our collection total will be announced at the Presidential Changeover, at which time members will be asked to make their guesses as to the figure; closest to the number, over or under, will win a free meal when we resume meeting at Quigley’s in September.

2015-16 DUES — Members were reminded that dues for the upcoming Rotary Year are due to be submitted to Treasurer Murray Forth no later than June 30. Full-year ($175) or half-year ($87.50) payments are acceptable. If a half-year payment is made, the remaining $87.50 is due no later than December 31.

SUMMER SCHEDULE — President-elect Terry Brewer reminded the club that outings have been scheduled for July 30 (picnic dinner and ValleyCats baseball game at Bruno Stadium in Troy) and August 6 (the musical “West Side Story” at the Mac-Haydn Theatre in Chatham, with an order-off-the-menu dinner beforehand at the Four Brothers Pizza Inn in Hillsdale). We still need to fill open dates for other weeks, or there will be no meetings held on those particular days. We have July 9  (at the Forth residence) and July 16 (at the Calamaras residence) filled. We need casual-dinner hosts or planned outings for July 23 and August 13, 20 and 27.

MEMBER SURVEYS — Terry said he has received about 20 completed surveys by tonight, which was the deadline. He asked that the remainder of members please complete the forms and return them to him ASAP to help he and Debbie Rodriguez, who will become president-elect on July 1, make a two-year plan for the club’s direction.

MISCELLANY — Debbie Rodriguez said she has checked into possible Dutch Apple cruises and found the prices “prohibitive.” She described other boat trip possibilities, some of which are daytime and/or on days other than Thursday. Terry pointed out that during our summer casual period we can consider non-Thursday events if there is enough member interest.

NEXT MEETING — 6:15 p.m. Thursday, June 18, at Quigley’s. Charlie Foote has arranged for actor Robert S. Woods to be our speaker.


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