Many states are seeing an uptick in the number of companies and individuals marketing themselves as “planners” or “counselors,” who can assist with qualifying a person for Medicaid, for a fee. The services offered range from advising someone on the best way to get a Medicaid approval, to restructuring a person’s income and assets altogether in order to become eligible. Many of these companies hold themselves out to be experts in the field, and advertise that their services are much less expensive than hiring an attorney. However, several states have taken the position that these activities, when undertaken by non-attorney, constitute the unauthorized practice of law, and are a criminal offense.
Medicaid planning and assistance is a very complex area of the law, and often involves working with very vulnerable groups: the elderly, and people with mental and/or physical disabilities. Unfortunately, it is often the healthcare providers themselves who refer unwitting patients to these programs, in an effort to help, not harm, their patients. In many cases, however, the assistance that is provided is not helpful, and may even result in additional problems for the applicant.
Qualifying for Medicaid benefits can be a difficult and complicated process. If assistance is required, turning to a licensed attorney who specializes in this area of the law is always a good idea. Burgeon Legal Group offers excellent legal services at a reasonable cost, so if you are a provider with patients who need assistance with establishing their eligibility for Medicaid benefits, contact us and we will be happy to evaluate the case.
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