In her article, “Beware of This Financial Advice About Aging Parents,” Carolyn Rosenblatt, a nurse, practicing attorney and an expert on elder care, warns that advising an elder to purposely become indigent in order to receive Medicaid benefits is an unwise choice for several reasons. Her blog, Aging Parents, is featured on Forbes.com.
First, she points to the precarious state of Medicaid due to county, state and federal cutbacks. “One state has already eliminated the program entirely for some of its citizens and many other states are slashing Medicaid mercilessly,” she writes.
Consequently, benefits are limited and might only pay for care in a nursing home, an option neither the senior nor his or her family may desire, Rosenblatt states.
Yet there are some instances, she relates, when “intentional impoverishment” to qualify for Medicaid may be a suitable alternative. Those would include such a high degree of cognitive impairment on the part of the client in question that long-term care in a nursing facility is required. It may also make sense if the family’s funds are so limited that it is impossible to keep an aging parent in the home.
However, Rosenblatt warns against recommending this route if the children of your client simply want to protect their inheritance.
She writes: “It does not make sense when you are trying to get a parent on Medicaid to keep a parent’s assets so the kids can inherit them at the sacrifice of quality of life for the aging parent.”