Report: Elderly not hiding assets to receive Medicaid

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The premise that many older people are concealing wealth to gain Medicaid-covered nursing home care has little supporting evidence, a report from the Georgetown University Long-Term Care Financing Project has found. Moreover, ongoing efforts to close remaining loopholes will probably not generate substantial savings.

Investigators said that available studies do not support the claim that asset transfers are widespread or costly to Medicaid, or that restricting Medicaid eligibility would substantially increase savings or purchases of private long-term care insurance. Funding for the study was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which is generally regarded as a left-leaning organization.

"Policy reforms designed to close down remaining loopholes are not going to make much of a dent in Medicaid's nursing home spending because most people who end up on Medicaid are already paying what they can," the study concludes. For more on the report, go to: http://ltc.georgetown.edu/pdfs/nursinghomecosts.pdf.