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Medicaid Application Assistance for Nursing Home Care

Troy, Michigan Medicaid Application Attorney

Navigating the complex landscape of Medicaid applications for nursing home care can be overwhelming, but you do not have to face it alone. I am an attorney in Troy, Michigan and I have 27 years of experience in Elder Law and Medicaid Applications to help Michigan seniors and their families access the care they need without sacrificing their financial security.

What is at Risk?

Long-term care in a nursing home is expensive. The statewide average cost of a nursing home in Michigan is $10,870 in 2024. However, in Metro Detroit, nursing home care is usually more expensive and can cost $12,000 to $14,000 per month. At these high costs, it does not take long to deplete the savings and other assets of the elder (the person needing nursing home care). 

There are two requirements for the Medicaid application to be approved within a reasonable period of time:

  1. at the time the application is filed, the person in the nursing home must actually be eligible for Medicaid; and
  2. the application must be complete when it is filed.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (“Medicaid”) is the agency of the State of Michigan that processes and approves or denies Medicaid applications. If the person in the nursing home is not actually eligible for Medicaid when the application is filed, at some point the application will be denied by Medicaid. This is a problem since we cannot make you eligible for Medicaid retroactively if you were not actually eligible in prior months. Since Medicaid gives themselves at least 45 days to process the application, a Medicaid denial due to not actually being eligible will result in a large nursing home bill ($16,305 using the statewide average cost and assuming a 45 day processing time). The nursing home bill will be larger if Medicaid takes longer than 45 days to process the denial. The bill may be unpayable due to the elder not having sufficient funds left to pay it. This can result in the elder being asked to leave or even evicted from the nursing home. Alternatively, the family will have to pay the nursing home bill.

If the application is not complete when it is filed, the application process can drag on for months while you and the Medicaid caseworker keep exchanging documents and requests for additional information back and forth. This delay results in the nursing home not getting paid, which makes the nursing home staff upset and creates friction between the family and nursing home staff and makes an already stressful situation more stressful.

For the reasons and others, I say that applying for Medicaid is not a do-it-yourself project. You can avoid these problems, as well as the stress and uncertainty that comes with filing a Medicaid application by yourself, by getting professional assistance.

Why Consult with an Elder Law Attorney?

As part of my elder law practice, I help seniors and their families to prevent the devastating financial effects of long-term care. I know the intricate details and regulations surrounding Medicaid eligibility for nursing home care in Michigan. I stay up to date on the latest changes in Medicaid laws and guidelines to give my clients accurate and reliable advice. As attorneys, we have a professional responsibility to do things right and to give accurate legal counsel. As such, I am not going to advise you to try something out that is untested or that will takes months of haggling with Medicaid to get approved.

How an Elder Law Attorney Can Help

1. Assessment of Eligibility: I will thoroughly evaluate your financial situation to determine your eligibility for Medicaid benefits. This includes reviewing your income, assets, and any transfers or gifts that may affect your eligibility.

2. Strategic Planning: If the elder's current financial situation makes them ineligible for Medicaid, I can develop a strategic plan to help them qualify without just spending down their estate. Congress and the State of Michigan have made the Medicaid laws complex, but these laws allow for the use of certain trusts, Medicaid compliant-annuities, transfers to adult children (when properly structured and disclosed to Medicaid), care contracts, and the use of other legal strategies, even if the elder is already in a nursing home. Use of these asset protection strategies will preserve the elder's assets while still meeting Medicaid's requirements. I can help you protect the elder's home from estate recovery. In regards to the other assets at risk, I can help a single person protect at least 50% of the assets at risk. For married couples when one spouse is in a nursing home, we can protect all of the assets that are at risk for the spouse who is not in a nursing home.

3. Medicaid Application Preparation: I will complete the Medicaid application accurately and efficiently and file it with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (Medicaid) so that you do not have to deal with the State. I will file the application in a way that ensures and verifies that Medicaid received it so they cannot claim it was not filed later. My Medicaid application services include:

    • filling out the application form for you;
    • organizing the many financial statements and other information that must be submitted with the application;
    • writing a detailed memorandum to the state Medicaid case workers who process the applications. This memorandum will explain and document why the elder is eligible for Medicaid in reference to the financial statements and other information submitted with it;
    • following up with the Medicaid case worker about the application, including answering their questions and providing them with additional information, so you need not do that and can focus on your family member's care instead.

4. Representation During Appeals: If the Medicaid application is denied or delayed, I will prepare and file an appeal and advocate on the elder's behalf during the appeals process. My goal is to resolve any issues promptly so the elder can access the nursing home care he or she needs without unnecessary delays. Since I know the law and have a lot of experience in preparing Medicaid application, appeals are extremely rare. They tend to occur in two situations:

    • The Medicaid case worker makes a mistake in processing the application and an appeal is necessary to make them correct it; or
    • Before consulting with me, someone files for Medicaid on their own and does not complete the application correctly, does not provide the information required by Medicaid, or makes another mistake that results in a denial. Then I am retained to file an appeal to fix the situation.

5. Long-Term Care Planning: Beyond Medicaid applications, I offer comprehensive long-term care planning services to help you prepare for future needs. Whether it's creating advance directives or exploring other estate planning options, we will work with you to develop a personalized plan that addresses your unique concerns.

Reliable Help Every Step of the Way

I understand that navigating Medicaid applications for nursing home care can be stressful and emotionally challenging for families. That's why I strive to provide reliable support and compassionate guidance throughout the entire process. I am here to answer your questions, alleviate your concerns, and empower you to make informed decisions about your loved one's care.

Contact Me Now

If you are considering applying for Medicaid benefits for nursing home care in Michigan, please reach out to me, Andrew Byers. With my expertise in elder law and Medicaid planning, I can help you navigate the complexities of the process with confidence and peace of mind. I help seniors and their families apply for Medicaid in Troy, Michigan, Royal Oak, Clawson and the rest of Oakland County. I also help clients apply for Medicaid throughout the rest of Metro Detroit and in other communities in Michigan.

Contact me now by using the online form or by calling me directly at (248) 469-4261. On this initial call, I will answer your preliminary questions and get some background information to make sure it is a situation with which I can help. After that, you can decide if it makes sense to schedule a more in-depth consultation. 

Peace of Mind Made Simple

Andrew Byers is an estate planning, elder law, and probate attorney in Troy, Michigan with 27 years of practical experience you can use to safeguard your savings and protect yourself. I strive to help my clients avoid and solve problems with clear, effective, and affordable legal services and counsel. I advise clients in Troy, Michigan and surrounding communities in Oakland County and the rest of Metro Detroit. Take the first step to obtaining peace of mind by contacting me using the online form or by calling (248) 469-4261.

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