Dealing with the state Medicaid office is challenging, but only because it requires dealing with a frustrating bureaucracy. Organizing and analyzing each client’s financial information can be a puzzle, but that’s what makes it fun!

(Yes, I’m one of those people.)

Even learning the Medicaid rules isn’t the hardest thing – that’s what I went to law school for, after all. No, the hardest thing in nursing home planning is making sense of the Medicaid rules.

Seriously, have you ever tried? Fortunately, you don’t have to; that’s what you hire an elder law attorney for. As the experts, it’s our job to explain the whole system in a way that makes sense to your specific situation.

Iowa Medicaid – sometimes called Title XIX (Title 19) – is a mashup of federal statutes and regulations, state-specific rule tweaks, and both formal and informal agency policies. The system itself is intricate enough, but then the individual case workers who process Medicaid applications don’t always apply the rules in the same way. It’s virtually impossible to navigate the maze without a guide.

And not just any guide will do. A general practice lawyer might know that there’s a five-year lookback, but they probably don’t know when the lookback starts or what it means to make a “transfer” under the Medicaid rules (hint: it’s not the same as a taxable gift). You need an expert to help you find the safe path through the jungle.

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At The Huizenga Law Firm, we’ve made it our mission to be the best guides available. As part of our commitment to helping you find a safe path to Medicaid eligibility, we’re starting two new blog series this month.

The first, Watch Your Language, starts on Thursday and will be a series of short posts defining and explaining the terminology of Medicaid eligibility – words that may mean one thing in everyday life but another thing entirely for Medicaid purposes.

Then, starting next week, Devils, Details, and Deadlines will break down some of the confusing constructs involved with Medicaid planning, starting with the penalty period. These series will last until we run out of things to talk about (yeah, right!).

Think of them as Medicaid guidebooks. And think of Huizenga Law as your guide.