Millionaires on Medicaid

billsGot a house worth $802,000, lots of savings and a nice car? You might still qualify for benefits… In fact, 15% of elderly individuals in the middle-income quintile, 8% in the upper-middle quintile, and 5% in the top quintile receive Medicaid benefits…

[S]tate governments are mandated by law to pursue the estates of wealthy residents to recoup the costs incurred by their use of long-term care programs. Yet the most recent study by Health and Human Services found that most states recoup less than 2% of total long-term care spending. Four states — Alaska, Georgia, Michigan and Texas — even reported no reimbursements whatsoever. (WSJ)

Comments (17)

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  1. Jimbino says:

    Get real! A person like Zuckerberg, newly worth $25 billion or so, need never have earned or unearned income again.

    He only borrows against his assets and lives until death on borrowed money. Hence he never has taxable income and is not liable for income tax or even FICA, workers’ compensation tax or unemployment compensation tax.

    Why shouldn’t he be entitled to Medicaid benefits? Not to mention food stamps and an Obamaphone?

  2. Thomas says:

    Yet another example of how flawed Medicaid will be when expanding coverage under ACA.

  3. Thomas says:

    “Yet the most recent study by Health and Human Services found that most states recoup less than 2% of total long-term care spending. Four states — Alaska, Georgia, Michigan and Texas — even reported no reimbursements whatsoever.”

    Well it’s good to know they are actively doing something about this…

  4. Kilian says:

    Free money.

  5. Kevin says:

    Rand Paul’s son even qualifies for Medicaid.

  6. Jay says:

    Great post John!

  7. Billy says:

    “Got a house worth $802,000, lots of savings and a nice car? You might still qualify for benefits…”

    If I forgo those benefits, can I get those nice things instead?

  8. Stewart T. says:

    It should be illegal. That help is for the poor. Just another example of the rich taking what they don’t need.

    • Matthew says:

      It’s like a reversed Robin Hood.

    • Jimbino says:

      Stewart T, you need to realize that socialist transfers don’t flow from the rich to the poor or to the needy from the comfortable.

      No, they flow from the young to the old, from the male to the female, from the single to the married, from the child-free to the breeders, from the enterprising to the indolent, from the incarcerated Black to the White golfer, from the sugar and wine consumer to the producer, from the poor urbanite to the rich farm corporation and on and on.

  9. John Fembup says:

    The facts as presented by the WSJ writer do not seem to have anything to do with “Partnership” long term care policies. Perhaps the writer decided that they don’t fit the story he is reporting, or that mentioning them would overcomplicate the story. Still, their omission may create an impression that no one should ever be permitted to retain their residence or other assets when they receive Medicaid long term care benefits . . . and that’s actually not so.

    That’s because of the so-called “Partnership” long term care insurance program. Four states entered a Partnership demonstration with Medicaid in 1992. Presently 31 states allow Partnership long term care policies.

    Connecticut is a Partnership state. In Connecticut, if you decide to buy a “precertified” private long term care policy, the state will not require you to spend down your assets to the state limit (Connecticut’s limit is $1,600) to be eligible for Medicaid long term care. Instead, you may exclude (i.e., set aside) the lesser of the amount the private policy actually paid to you, or the maximum payable under your policy. Purchase of a Partnership policy is purely voluntary on your part. I believe the other 30 states’ Partnership rules are much the same.

    In general, these state Partnership programs shift the first dollars of each claim to private policies and away from the state. This saves the states money. Notice that people most likely to be interested in a private Partnership policy are those with substantial assets to shelter. Others would not be so interested.