The Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Certified Medicaid Planner

What is a Certified Medicaid Planner? A Certified Medicaid Planner, also known as a CMP, is a professional in the Medicaid planning field who has been awarded certification by the CMP Governing Board. Certification is granted based upon a qualified candidate demonstrating a mastery of the required knowledge and skills of the field. Furthermore, candidates must commit to adhere to the professional standards upheld by Certified Medicaid Planners

But, why should you hire us?

10. Avoid Devastating Medicaid Penalties
9. Cost-Effective
8. Certified Expertise You Can Trust
7. Receive Service Customized to Your Unique Situation
6. Unbiased and Reliable Financial Mediation
5. Utilize a Network of Professional Relationships
4. Focus on Your Family, NOT on Finances
3. Protect Your Loved Ones
2. Employ an Entire Team of Experts
1. Peace of Mind


10. Avoid Devastating Medicaid Penalties

Unfortunately, many people don’t understand how the look back period or Medicaid penalties work. In order to be eligible for Medicaid, you cannot have transferred assets during a set lookback period of time. Penalties are placed on applicants who transfer assets without receiving fair value in return. This could apply to gifting assets to your children or even selling your home at below market value.

Medicaid penalties are calculated not in dollars, but in months. Those are months of Medicaid ineligibility where you will have to use private funds. Those funds could be yours, or they could be your children’s, if you do not have sufficient assets to cover your care during your penalty period. This means not only will you accumulate thousands of dollars of debt, but you will also face months of helplessly worrying about your encroaching financial instability. Making financial decisions unwittingly could have a negative impact not just on your assets but, in some cases, the assets of your children. Not only will a CMP be able to answer your questions about the process, hiring a CMP to handle your case helps ensure you are properly spent-down for Medicaid, and helps you avoid the fear of Medicaid penalties.

9. Cost-Effective

Not only will a CMP save you money by helping you avoid Medicaid penalties, a CMP provides a client with a cost-effective and legal way to achieve eligibility for Medicaid. Even better, our CMPs at Iowa Senior Planning provide these services at a fraction of the price a lawyer traditionally charges. We always provide a free consultation for all new clients, so you never pay to learn the basics of Medicaid or to get a handle on your unique situation. We believe educating the public is a worthy cause, and once you sit down with one of our experts, you’ll know if hiring us is the right fit for your situation. Of course, we have access to legal staff for clients who need an attorney’s advice and services; furthermore, we refer clients to Elder Law Attorneys in your area if we know a case requires legal services that Iowa Senior Planning cannot provide. However, the reality is that oftentimes all a family requires is a Medicaid expert, so why pay for the steep price of legal work if you don’t need it?

You will also save money by saving time. If you do not spend down your assets in compliance with Medicaid rules or you do not submit the appropriate documents the first time, you could be facing additional months of unpaid medical expenses and facility care that you were relying upon Medicaid to cover after approval. Unfortunately, the Medicaid approval process runs at the speed of government, not the speed of business, which means it could take weeks to hear back about your case. The speed of the Medicaid application review process is out of the control of even the most experienced CMP; however, our CMPs will review a Request for More Information and coordinate an updated plan with you within the same business day it is received. This aids in your case being handled in a timely manner.

8. Certified Expertise You Can Trust

Taking action based on bad information is one of the main reasons Medicaid applicants are penalized and/or denied. There's a lot of bad advice out there for an already complicated process, which is why we provide a free informational meeting to new clients and regularly present on the topic for the general public. Click here to visit our Facebook page to see if we have an upcoming presentation in your area.

A CMP is a trustworthy professional who has passed the CMP examination and has been awarded certification by the CMP Governing Board. Regardless of a CMP’s background, a certificant agrees to uphold ethical principles in the conduct of their performance as a Medicaid Planner. Moreover, a CMP is subject to discipline by the CMP Governing Board. Don't make important financial decisions without all of the correct information. If you would like to verify your Medicaid Planner is certified, click here to visit the CMP Board website.

7. Receive Service Customized to Your Unique Situation

The guidance a CMP provides is customized to each client’s needs. What works for one family won't work for another, which is why a CMP designs eligibility strategies on a case-by-case basis. A CMP will outline your potential options and review all of your choices with you, in order to explain the potential avenues you may pursue. As with almost everything, the more you know, the better decisions you can make.

Once you have selected your preferred eligibility strategy, our team will implement the plan, and your CMP will provide you pertinent updates on your case. As soon as the Medicaid recipient has reached Medicaid eligibility status, our CMP will file and process the Medicaid application and assist with any fair hearings. We will stay with you throughout the entirety of the process because at Iowa Senior Planning, we always go above and beyond for our clients. We understand that Medicaid planning and application is a convoluted process, which oftentimes occurs at one of the most difficult times of a client’s life.

If you can’t meet with us during traditional business hours, we can arrange to meet with you at times and places that are convenient for you. We are based in Des Moines, IA, but we travel across the state to aid our clients. Places we have traveled in the past include: Davenport, Carroll, Altoona, Webster City, Rockwell City, Muscatine, Boone, Guthrie Center, Waterloo, Cedar Falls, and the occasional farmhouse. We look forward to visiting your town next.

6. Unbiased and Reliable Financial Mediation

Families come in all shapes and sizes, and finances can put undue strain on any familial relationship. If your family refuses to communicate, or if you have a difficult time discussing financial matters, allow a professional CMP to mediate. If you waste too much time arguing or put off discussing the tough financial decisions, there won't be any of your hard earned money left to dispute over. The presence of a CMP can alleviate some of the tension by serving as an expert and disinterested third party. Our team will be by your side with a sympathetic listening ear, and we will do our best to get everyone on the same page with the Medicaid eligibility plan you have chosen. Our CMPs have been thanked for being the calm voice of reason in a storm of emotion, so don’t be afraid to voice your concerns and use our experience navigating these important conversations with your loved ones.

5. Utilize a Network of Professional Relationships

A CMP’s profession is to understand the Medicaid system, so our CMPs have years of experience navigating the intricacies of achieving Medicaid approval. Through these years of experience, our CMPs have forged necessary relationships with a diverse group of professionals including attorneys, accountants, financial advisors, care managers, and social workers. We also work alongside several facilities and have fostered positive relationships with their staff, which allows us to better serve our clients. When a short term stay in a nursing home becomes a long term stay, you may have to change facilities. Most facilities won't accept anyone that doesn't have a source of payment such as Medicare, Medicaid, LTC insurance, or private funds. If your Medicare days run out, and you do not have another source of payment, you will need to apply and be approved for Medicaid. Oftentimes, a facility will not admit you until once they receive official proof of Medicaid approval. A CMP can step in, show a detailed plan for your Medicaid approval to the nursing home, and often negotiate with them to get you admitted.

Even better yet, a CMP can establish a plan with you well ahead of a necessary move into a long-term care facility. An established plan can help to fast-track your case for Medicaid approval and take the pressure off of you to figure out your finances while you are also adjusting to living in a new home. It’s important to keep in mind that as the population increases, competition for Medicaid beds increases, which means you may not be able to get into your preferred facility, especially if you do not have an established financial plan of action. Benjamin Franklin said it himself, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Don’t wait until it’s too late. Make a plan today on your terms.

4. Focus on Your Family, NOT on Finances

Most people have to deal with the difficulties of paying for long-term care and navigating the Medicaid system, while they are also facing a challenging personal health crisis or that of a beloved family member. Even worse, the Medicaid system is one of the most complex government benefits systems. That’s why a professional must have years of education and experience in order to be qualified to take the CMP Review Board’s exam, which certifies the professional’s Medicaid Planner status. Even if you have the most simple and straight-forward case, it could take up months of your life to figure out and maneuver the Medicaid system on your own, costing you time and money. This is why clients use the services of a CMP to successfully qualify for Medicaid benefits.

A CMP keeps informed of the frequent changes in Medicaid rules and has the knowledge to guide you through the Medicaid system, while also being sensitive to your situation. No one should have to fixate on financial matters while dealing with personal hardship or attending to the poor health of a loved one. Pass the work and the stress to someone equipped to handle it, so you can concentrate on what's important, taking care of yourself and your family.

3. Protect Your Loved Ones

During our combined years of experience, we often come across the unfortunate reality that very few older adults know and understand their rights and options regarding health care, particularly long-term care. Many people simply do not want to face this matter, or they have faith that they will avoid having to stay in a long-term care facility. Of course, some will avoid the need for ongoing care, but most will not. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "Someone turning age 65 today has almost a 70 percent chance of needing some type of long-term care services and supports in their remaining years." Moreover, over one third of aging individuals will need nursing facility care.

Oftentimes the health crisis that necessitates long-term care is completely debilitating, leaving our loved ones to have to pick up the pieces. Without effective financial planning, a patient or a family will end up paying more for long-term care than the law requires. Utilizing the services of a CMP is especially important to consider when the health crisis of a spouse could unnecessarily drain resources that can be preserved for the healthy spouse. Planning ahead properly protects the spouse at home from financial devastation.

The present is the best time to reflect upon and review your financial future. Would your family know where to find your financial records, titles, and insurance policies if something happened to you? Having these serious conversations now prevents later distress. Don’t leave important questions unanswered and crucial choices undecided.

2. Employ an Entire Team of Experts

At Iowa Senior Planning, we employ CMPs alongside additional experts in the field to form the strongest team of advocates for your case. We have built a whole team to back you up because Medicaid planning requires a broad spectrum of knowledge and skills. Here’s a list of only some of the tasks we have dealt with for clients:

  • obtain appraisals for assets
  • liquidate assets, including retirement funds or life insurance policies
  • sell property, including homes or farmland
  • obtain legal work
  • halt taxation on pensions
  • establish prearranged funeral plans
  • set up annuities
  • and change health insurance companies or coverage.

Medicaid eligibility is determined on the first moment of the first day of each month. Now imagine if you had to accomplish all of these tasks on your own within that time crunch. It could be an impossible feat to accomplish, especially if you don’t have any experience dealing with these industries or services. Our team, led by a CMP, will handle as much as the busy work as possible. We will also walk you through proven, simplified steps for tasks that require your authorization, so you can keep your attention on yourself and your family.

1. Peace of Mind

Past due medical bills, upcoming medical bills, time consuming research, hard and fast deadlines, distressed phone calls from family, and endless care meetings with facilities; it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin. The best part about hiring a CMP is that you don’t have to carry the burden alone anymore. You have the strong, experienced hands of our team to lift the worries from your shoulders, so you can get a good night’s sleep when you most need it. We cannot stress enough the value of meeting with a CMP and establishing a plan now, on your own terms. A CMP at your side gives you peace of mind in the present and confidence in the future.

The best way to predict the future is to create it.
— Abraham Lincoln

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