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Medicaid planning is neither “gaming the system” nor terribly widespread. Medicaid planning is about meeting the needs of real people faced with potential long-term care costs that are beyond the means of all but a tiny percentage of the population.

The activity that is truly widespread is informal unpaid family caregiving of individuals needing long-term care. Families are the bedrock of the long-term care system: 83% of people with long-term care needs live at home, and 75% receive their care solely from unpaid caregivers (i.e., family and friends). The number rises to 93% when you include those who receive both paid and unpaid caregiving in the community.

Most families seek Medicaid eligibility only after they have become worn out from informal caregiving. And, even after Medicaid is helping to pay costs, spouses and adult children continue to provide unpaid care.

Source: National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys

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