Many readers of this blog have hopefully used the services of an attorney who is experienced in elder care and Medicaid law. Now, a new category of Medicaid planning assistance is available from a category of professional planners known as Certified Medicaid Planners.
Many people are able to build their own understanding of the basics of Medicaid eligibility and benefits, but keeping track of the many changes in the law and regulations that govern Medicare can be out of reach for most lay people. CMPs can be found in a number of professions, such as attorneys, certified public accountants, financial advisers, nursing home staff, social workers, geriatric care workers and funeral home directors. Their common goal is to provide the most cost-effective Medicaid plan for every Medicaid beneficiary.
One of the most important functions of a CMP is to provide a long-term care plan through Medicaid. The CMP will speak to the client or to a member of the client's family to obtain information about the person's living situation, medical needs and other pertinent information. From this information, the CMP can prepare a long-term care plan that fits the patient's needs.
CMPs must obtain at least a bachelor's or associate of arts degree and two years of full-time experience in a Medicaid-related field such as law, finance or social work. Many CMPs have JD degrees or master's degrees in accounting or social work. After satisfying the minimum eligibility requirements, a CMP must pass a final certification exam. After final certification, a CMP must take 20 hours of continuing education in every three-year period.
CMPs who are not attorneys may have restrictions on their willingness or ability to draft necessary documents such as a special needs trust. Lawyers who are experienced in elder and special needs law are generally able to offer necessary advice and to draft necessary documents.