What is Medicaid planning?

There are two elements associated with Medicaid planning: the legal strategies needed to qualify for benefits, and the actual application process.

The first step of the planning is to make a series of legal and financial decisions that will result in assets and income qualifying for Medicaid. There are several legal strategies to choose from, including the use of certain types of trusts.

For many clients, the process seems overly complicated. Fortunately, it is possible to calculate and explain what assets are at risk and what assets would be immediately protected. It is also possible to determine when a person needing nursing care will qualify for Medicaid, and how to ensure that Medicaid begins paying as soon as legally possible, to minimize the loss of assets to the spouse who still lives at home.

The second step of the planning is the formal qualification and application process. There is a specific qualification and application process to receive benefits that must be followed to be eligible for benefits. An attorney can be retained to assist in the filing of the application for Medicaid benefits with the local Medicaid department so that the nursing home resident can begin to receive the benefits.

It's important to understand that Medicaid planning to get the nursing home resident eligible for Medicaid in the future is separate from and different than actually applying for the benefits from the local Medicaid Department. Like most financial and estate planning, Medicaid planning is always better if done in advance. However, even if tragedy strikes unexpectedly, it's good to know that there are still options available to keep from depleting your assets.

As a lawyer licensed by the State Bar of Michigan, I am bound to abide by a specific code of ethics. But I believe that as servants of Christ, we are held to a much higher standard of morality, justice, and fairness. So I work hard to provide you the best possible representation under the laws of the state while adhering to the teaching of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.