Nearly two years in the making, Michigan’s ABLE program launched today in Lansing. This technically makes Michigan the fifth ABLE program in the country (and the fourth that Michigan residents can enroll in). Eligible individuals can now enroll at miable.org. Well-deserved kudos goes to Representative Anthony Forlini for sponsoring the legislation and for welcoming input on the legislation from all parties, to a bipartisan legislature for passing it through, and to Lt. Governor Brian Calley for making a Michigan ABLE program an administration priority.
But what is most impressive? Michigan is the first ABLE program to launch without any budget allocation from the state government. We have to thank the Michigan Department of Treasury — Scott de Varona in particular — for accomplishing the herculean task of getting MiABLE up in running in 2016 without any money to do so. We also have to thank the administrator — TSA Consulting Group — for stepping up and being willing to take the substantial financial risk of administering MiABLE.
Although it is not easy to find on the website, we were told that MiABLE accounts will be charged a fee of $45/year, plus the investment expense associated with the the individual’s chosen investment option(s). This is competitive with the other ABLE options (and a tad cheaper than Ohio). There are six investment options available. A debit card will supposedly be available in February 2017. The most unique feature in today’s rollout is the ability to post your account (similar to GoFundMe) to make it easier for individuals to donate to a beneficiary’s MiABLE account.
As attorneys, our loyalty is to our clients and we have an obligation to advise on the pros and cons of all the available ABLE programs. There will be a time and place for us to critique and compare the ABLE options.
But not today. Today is the day to celebrate everyone that got MiABLE up and running.
To all of them, thank you.