As this article in today’s New York Times points out, Medicare is getting the bulk of the attention in this election campaign, while more attention needs to be focused on the problem of Medicaid.

“Medicaid has long conjured up images of inner-city clinics jammed with poor families. Its far less-visible role is as the only safety net for millions of middle-class people whose needs for long-term care, at home or in a nursing home, outlast their resources.”

As Robyn Grant,  the director of public policy and advocacy for the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care points out “More than $80,000 a year on average for a nursing home– who can sustain that?”  On Long Island that cost is closer to $150,000 each year on average.  She continues to say “We’re forced most of us to go onto Medicaid.” People don’t realize this.

The article also suggests that some lawyers specialize in setting up trusts that shelter certain assets, and that the government has closed some loopholes that allow these trusts.

Sheltering assets through trusts is still a viable option.  The loophole is in the length of time needed to fully protect your assets.  Currently, that length of time is 5 years before your home and other liquid assets can be protected.

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