Call us for a free intial consultation today and potentially save $100,000 or more in nursing home costs. 1 (877) 21-Medicaid or 1 (877) 216-3342
A Medicaid professional consultant helping an elderly woman to protect her assets and money from the nursing home spend down.

Medicaid Planning Ethical

Elder Lawyers defend Medicaid Planning as ethical and legal to save on nursing home costs and long-term care

Many elder law attorneys face ethical dilemmas when dealing with cases in regards to Medicaid. There are many clients who will request an attorney to assist with estate and asset protection planning. This is primarily done to lessen the impact of long-term care such as nursing home costs. This cost alone can be catastrophic for the elderly population. The ethical question that many attorneys ask is whether helping the elderly with asset protection planning to become eligible for Medicaid is ethical.

Medicaid Elder Lawyers concerned with ethics of Medicaid planning

Some attorneys are becoming very concerned with the public image that is associated with planning for Medicaid. In many cases, those who help with Medicaid planning are referred to as "gaming the system" in order to help underprivileged clients. The critics of this type of planning usually have their own interests they wish to advance. Some critics may be connected to the insurance companies that handle long-term care. Their concern is that if the risks associated with paying for long-term care can be transferred to the taxpayers; there will be no need for long-term care insurance. This is one of the many criticisms elder law attorneys face. However, many elder law attorneys view it as simply providing a service as an accountant would for a client who wishes to reduce their taxes which is all completely legal.

Medicaid Planning Objections and Justifications

There are a few objections that are usually associated with Medicaid planning. For example, people believe that Medicaid is meant to assist the poor and is not for any individual that has money or assets. It is also believed that if it is not checked on a regular basis, Medicaid planning will cause the system to go bankrupt. If Medicaid planning is left unchecked, it will become a two-tiered system. This means that there will be two groups; those who can pay for their nursing care privately and those with no available money who will then have to receive Medicaid benefits.
Many critics of Medicaid planning see it as a form of elder abuse. This is believed because many of the people who are placed in a nursing home do not have the mental capacities to make their own decisions. This leaves all financial decisions in the hands of their children. Unfortunately, it is the children who will gain the most from saving money that should be paid to a nursing home. Since it is expected that the assets belonging to the elder are to be used for long-term care, this money is then handed to their children who do not use it for nursing care costs. In addition, many think that Medicaid planning will discourage personal responsibility.

Medicaid planning is defended to offset costs of nursing home care

On the other hand, Medicaid planning has many defenders. For example, some children believe that since Mom and Dad spent their lives earning their money, that money should be left to their family and not used on nursing care. Also, some argue that since Mom and Dad have paid into the system the whole time they were working, that they should be able to receive their care as well as Medicaid benefits. This causes them to question why it would be considered unethical to plan for Medicaid.
Some compare Medicaid planning to estate planning. If it is okay to do planning that will minimize estate taxes, why would it be wrong to use Medicaid planning to offset the cost of nursing home care?

Medicaid planning that is legal to avoid depleting savings and assets

Some other defenders of Medicaid planning argue that since estate planning is legal, Medicaid planning should be as well. The cost of health care will deplete the savings of the individual, leaving them no assets. So, the goal of the planning should be to preserve the estate. The ethical rules that attorneys follow allow for them to help clients who wish to find ways to minimize their costs that are a result of health care. The only thing that should matter is whether these plans are carried out according to the laws, which, in most cases, they are.
Read more on protecting your assets from Medicaid:
Read more information on Medicaid: