Note: Medicaid and the Middle Class: Should the Government Pay for Everyone’s Long-Term Health Care?

Volume 1, Issue 1

Jeffrey L. Soltermann 

In analyzing the practice of “Medicaid estate planning,” Mr. Soltermann finds much to criticize. He believes that Medicaid should be restricted to those it was originally designed to benefit, the truly impoverished. Mr. Soltermann further argues that those who move assets to qualify for Medicaid, as opposed to depleting their assets, contribute to skyrocketing heath care costs. Also, only be reducing the numbers eligible for Medicaid can the budget and budget deficit be reduced. Mr. Soltermann begins his analysis with an overview of Medicaid eligibility guidelines. He then points our what he sees as the problems with Medicaid estate planning, specifically identifying the complexity of Medicaid rules, the risks involved in transferring assets, and the social, ethical, and economic problems of the practice. Mr. Soltermann proposes resolving the problem in a number of ways. He believes there should be more of a shift to home- and community-based care, and that the federal government should facilitate the sale of private long-term care insurance through subsidies, tax credits, and tax incentives. Mr. Soltermann also proposes that states should take action to promote the sale of long-term care insurance. Finally, Mr. Soltermann believes that other noninsurance alternatives exist that would help alleviate the Medicaid problem.