The New York Times just published an article entitled, “The Ethics of Adjusting Your Assets to Qualify for Medicaid” and they ask a very relevant question.
Is it ethical to arrange your financial affairs so you qualify for Medicaid? After all, it essentially means you are moving assets to qualify for a government program for the poor.
Some feel it is unethical. Some feel they have paid into the program and are entitled to use it. But it is an interesting question to ponder.
I’m one of the “mini-industry of lawyers” that helps people plan for Medicaid. Personally, I think I’m doing the right thing.
Most of my clients are not millionaires seeking to take advantage of the program. Instead, they are honest hardworking people who have worked and saved their entire lives. They are trying to save enough of their money so their spouse who is not in the nursing home has enough to live on. Or put aside a few bucks for the extras that Medicaid or Medicare won’t pay for like additional physical therapy. Or keep their home so they can go back to it. They may be trying to pass a few dollars down to their grand children so when they die, there is a little legacy from Grandma to help with college.