AP/Wasington Times Examines Increased Use of ‘Medicaid Planning’ To Cover Cost of Care for Elderly
The AP/Washington Times on Tuesday examined the use of "Medicaid planning," in which middle- and higher-income elderly individuals spend down their assets to qualify for Medicaid coverage for nursing home care. The cost of nursing home care can exceed $50,000 per year, and the cost of care at assisted-living facilities can exceed $24,000 per year, according to the American Health Care Association. Although some elderly individuals cover the cost of care through their savings or long-term care insurance, "increasingly, middle class and wealthy families -- desiring to protect the parents' assets for inheritance purposes -- are looking for ways to 'spend down' those assets to qualify parents for Medicaid support," the AP/Washington Times reports. Marilee Driscoll, author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Long-Term Care Planning," said, "They want their money to pass to the next generation. It's perfectly legal, but it's putting a tremendous strain on the Medicaid system, which was designed as a safety net for the poor." She added that the practice in most states "limits their care options to a nursing home," rather than assisted living, in-home care or community-based adult day care (Alt Powell, AP/Washington Times, 5/25).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.