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Medicaid is a government resource that provides individuals of limited financial means with access to medical care. Both the State of Kansas and the federal government provide funding for Medicaid, and those individuals who wish to use it for their medical needs must qualify in order to receive it. Those who are interested in the benefits can consult with a lawyer about Medicaid eligibility.

As they reach the later stages of their lives, some individuals whose net worth exceeds the threshold for eligibility may attempt to become eligible for Medicaid by engaging in a variety of asset-reducing strategies. They may give away possessions and property, and they may create living trusts that effectively name separate parties as the owners of their property so that the trust creators may appear to have only modest assets to their names. These and other asset-reducing strategies are not necessarily effective in getting a person to qualify for Medicaid, and in some cases a person’s Medicaid planning efforts may backfire if he or she is found to have been attempting to circumvent the Medicaid qualification requirements.

Due to the very detailed financial evaluation that a Medicaid reviewer will make when considering a new request for Medicaid benefits, it can be beneficial to an individual to have a complete understanding of the Medicaid review and approval process, as well as other legal options. Attorneys who practice elder law are often good resources for individuals who wish to improve their knowledge about Medicaid and how to prepare to meet the financial challenges of their future long-term care needs.

Medicaid is just one of the many topics that should be considered in estate planning. When done responsibly, Medicaid planning can provide an individual with health care coverage through a government-backed benefit. Just as one considers his or her will, trusts, and other estate administration tools, so too should he or she consider Medicaid.