MassHealth Advocacy: When Free Isn’t Always for Me
I regularly encounter clients that ask me why should I pay you to assist with the completion and submission of a MassHealth application for my loved one. I hear that “I can complete the application myself” or “a social worker at the hospital or nursing home where my family member is told me they would do it for free.”
First off, and sometimes the most integral part of what I do, is become the conduit between my client and both the nursing home and Medicaid office. I can alleviate the stress of dealing with nursing home administrators and MassHealth allowing you to focus on what’s most important: that you have adequate time to visit with your loved one and ensuring that he/she is getting the best and most appropriate care possible.
Secondly, rather than simply taking your pertinent financial information and inputting it into the self-explanatory application, I will take stock of what it is that your loved one owns, put together a plan to maximize the preservation of those assets, assist you in any permissible spend down or transfer of assets, and then submit the application to MassHealth. This is extremely important, as I have NEVER come across a person who has walked into my office financial eligible for MassHealth. In almost all instances, some planning is necessary to obtain eligibility. Too many times, I have seen individuals unnecessarily pay privately for care, when with a little restructuring; they would have been eligible in a short period of time.
Lastly, I am an advocate for your loved one. I have your loved one’s best interest at heart. I will take advantage of any opportunity the regulations afford to shelter assets and protect them for either a spouse at home or future generations.
So the next time that you hear someone say that they are applying for MassHealth herself or that he has someone that will complete the application for free, remind that person that you get what you pay for!
“Plan in advance in advance to give your loved ones a chance, or procrastinate or leave it up to the state!”
Check out my estate planning blog too: http://worcesterestateplanning.blogspot.com/