What is the background, education and knowledge base of nonlawyer Medicaid planners?

Annuity and insurance sales agents

Annuity and insurance sales agents sell annuities, life insurance and related financial products and earn commission from the sale. There is no requirement for a college degree, but a sales agent must pass a state insurance commission exam to obtain a license to sell insurance and certain annuities.

Agents who sell securities (and variable annuities) must also be licensed as a registered representative and comply with Financial Industry Regulating Authority (FINRA) regulations.

They are by definition salespersons. Their knowledge is of their financial products, and their training is how to promote and sell them.

Although insurance is a highly regulated profession, insurance agents without a law license have no formal training, education or licensing associated with Florida Medicaid planning law and the complex planning strategies accepted by Medicaid. For many, their only familiarity with Medicaid may be what they receive in sales brochures.

Financial planners

Financial planners come from many different educational and professional backgrounds.

According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission:

  • some financial planners charge either a fixed fee or an hourly fee for the time it takes to develop a financial plan, but don’t sell investment products;
  • some are paid by commissions on the products they sell;
  • and others use a combination of fees and commissions.

Some financial planners have credentials like CFP (Certified Financial Planner) certification or CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst). The criteria for these are determined by the private organization that issues the credential.

FINRA does NOT approve or endorse any professional credential or designation.

As with insurance agents, a financial planner without a law license has no training, education or licensing associated with Florida Medicaid planning and the complex planning strategies accepted by Medicaid

Former healthcare employees

Other nonlawyer Medicaid planners emerge from the health care industry, such as geriatric care managers, former nurses, prior DCF employees, and former nursing home employees. All have their own learned aspects of elder care, but no legal knowledge or training of the complex Medicaid planning strategies, or the preservation of assets, or the estate and income tax consequences caused by a restructuring of assets.

Planners with a public record

Nonlawyer Medicaid planners may also be felons, disbarred attorneys, sanctioned insurance sales people or other bad actors.

Excerpt From: John R. Frazier, Leonard E. Mondschein. “Protecting Nursing Homes and Their Residents from the Unlicensed Practice of Law.” iBooks.