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Medicaid Application Process in MA (MassHealth)

My husband and I are currently caring for his aged mother in our home. Fairly soon we anticipate that it will be necessary to seek long –term residential care for her. We have begun the research of nursing homes in our area and have been told that she may qualify for Medicaid assistance, but my husband and I can not believe the amount of personal and financial information required on the MassHealth application. We have to document all significant financial transactions for the past several years and it is not clear what is required and what is not. Are there any agencies or companies that can assist in this application process?  Posted on The Forum by Caroline2.
Editor's Response:
Yes, Caroline, there are several types of assistance available for those struggling with the Medicaid application process (i.e., everyone who has to go through it).  First, there are volunteer agencies such as the SHINE organizations, which are administered by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs.  In some cases, these organizations can assist families by providing free health insurance information and counseling.  In other cases, where complex asset planning and legal advice is needed, it would be best to consult an MA elder law attorney.
 However, for the average family trying to muddle through the MassHealth application, it may make sense to hire a private organization that specializes in the Medicaid application process for seniors.  Easily located with a Google search, these companies charge a fee and walk you through the application process.  They often expedite the process and help reduce your stress level because they: (1) explain what Medicaid options are available, (2) describe what information and documentation is required for the application, (3) help obtain that documentation, (4) interact with government agencies, and (5) perhaps most importantly, complete the darn application. 
 Whether you decide to retain professional assistance or do the application yourself, Caroline, organization is the key.  With that in mind, I have included below a checklist of necessary documentation to help you on your way.  It may seem daunting at first glance, but I always find that a good list injects some much needed structure and certainty into a stressful task.  Good luck.
 ___Proof of citizenship, age, and residency
___Copy of life insurance policies
___Copy of health insurance cards and most recent statement 
___Copy of long term care insurance policy
___Proof of all current GROSS income including but not limited to wages, Social
       Security, Pension, Veterans Aid, Railroad Retirement, etc.
___Copy of current bank statements (including CDs)
___Federal tax returns for the last two years
___Copy of title and/or registration for all motor vehicles
___Documentation of any financial resources valued at more than $1,000 owned, sold,
       traded, or gifted over the last four years
___Copy of real estate deeds and current tax bills
___Proof of all rental income, current homeowner's insurance, utility bills, mortgage payments,
       and maintenance expenses for all rental property
___Funeral plan and burial plot information
___Copy of trusts, schedule of beneficiaries, value of assets in trust 
___Power of attorney or guardianship documentation
___Detail on other financial resources including annuities

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