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Most Kansas residents are likely familiar with the fact that the “Medicaid” program exists, even if just due to news reports mentioning it in the context of the Affordable Care Act over the last several years. Many, however, may be intimately familiar with the program as it helps cover care for them or their loved ones. Because this federal program is designed to aid individuals with little income and few assets, it may seem that one either qualifies or one does not, so the necessity of “planning” for it may not be obvious.

However, some 65 percent of residents of nursing homes in Kansas make use of these benefits. Because long-term care in such facilities can be prohibitively expensive, without Medicaid, many people would go without the care they need.

Further, as individuals age, they become more likely to need such types of care. Due to this, attempting to foresee some of the potential issues that an aging person may face regarding paying for long-term care can be advantageous for that person’s financial future.

Because there are strict requirements regarding income and asset levels for individuals to receive Medicaid benefits, Kansans may find themselves burning through savings and others assets to pay for nursing home care. Further, a person who is receiving long-term care benefits who is the recipient of some amount of money or other assets, say, through an inheritance, may suddenly find him- or herself no longer eligible.

There are legal ways for Kansas residents to shelter assets and income from being counted against the benchmarks for Medicaid eligibility. To do so, though, will require some planning for the possible scenarios in which a person may face such difficulties. Kansans who would like more information on this type of long-term care and Medicaid planning may wish to consider consulting an experienced attorney.