Is a Medicaid Planner Right for You?

Medicaid Planner is a term that encompasses many different types of professionals who may be able to assist you or a loved one with qualifying for Medicaid benefits. Not every Medicaid Planner may be appropriate for your individual needs or situation.

Although Medicaid is a federal program, it is run on a state-by-state basis. This means every state has its own rules and requirements. If you are considering working with a Medicaid Planner, it is important you work with someone who is familiar with your state’s particular requirements.

Different Types of Medicaid Planners

  • Elder Law Attorneys — Elder law attorneys are licensed to practice law in a specific state, so they are knowledgeable about their state’s individual Medicaid eligibility requirements. They can help individuals or families protect their assets with Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts (MAPT). If a MAPT is not permitted in your state, they can also help you explore alternatives to reorganize assets or income so that you can qualify for Medicaid in the future.

    Elder law attorneys can also help you appeal a Medicaid denial or adverse Medicaid determination. In addition, where issues become contested with skilled nursing or long-term care facilities, an elder law attorney may be able to help you navigate these issues.

  • Financial Planners — Financial planners can provide a broad range of advice and planning, but cannot draft legal documents. They can help you put together a long-term care plan, discuss and evaluate investment options, and provide other financial advice. However, not every financial planner understands the intricacies of Medicaid or the particular care requirements that a person may have.
  • Care Managers — Elder care managers are more focused on care planning and coordination, such as resolving issues you may face if you need community or skilled nursing home care, as opposed to handling financial planning or legal matters. Because they are more familiar with day-to-day care issues, they often can serve as very knowledgeable resources on local programs and alternatives to Medicaid.
  • Counselors — Medicaid counselors are typically volunteers who offer limited services, like assisting with the application process, at no cost. They usually cannot advise a person on how to qualify for Medicaid. They also cannot provide legal or financial advice.
  • Insurance Agents and Commission-Based Medicaid Planners — These professionals also have a limited ability to assist with Medicaid planning. Only some products they can sell are Medicaid-compliant. For example, only specific insurance policies, such as prepaid burial insurance and certain annuities, are not “counted” in the Medicaid asset limit applicable in your state. These professionals can help sell you one of these options and will receive commissions paid by the insurance company.

Not every type of Medicaid Planner may be suitable for your situation. Wenzel Bennett & Harris has experienced attorneys and staff who can help you assess your best option.  For clients who are concerned about the prospect of long-term care for themselves or a family member, we highly recommend scheduling a Long-Term Care Consultation to review your situation and the options which will work best for you and your family. If you have a trusted financial professional, you are also welcome to invite them to participate in the consultation. For more information, please contact us at 989-356-6128 to speak to our Elder Law Paralegal, Julie Elowsky or our Client Care Specialist, Sally Donajkowski.

If you have specific questions about your situation or would like to learn more, reach out to the team at WBH here.

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