The 12.5 million people who are jointly enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid include some of the poorest individuals in the U.S. with some of the highest health needs, requiring disproportionately high spending from both programs to support them. Two new KFF analyses examine the demographics of this population as well as the latest data on program enrollment and spending. These data can help inform federal and state policy discussions about ways to improve coordination and management of care for these individuals.”
LTC Comment, Stephen A. Moses, President, Center for Long-Term Care Reform:
So I checked out KFF’s report on dual eligibles and found this: “Medicare-Medicaid enrollees include people ages 65 and over who are in relatively good health but have limited financial resources and people who at one time, may have had more financial resources, but spent their income and wealth on health or long-term care costs.” See, it’s not what they have now that matters; they’re broke and eligible for Medicaid. What matters is what they had when they were younger, more affluent, healthier and so could have planned for their long-term care later in life. KFF assumes these people spent down their savings on “health and long-term care costs,” but there is zero evidence that is true. Medicaid does not require that assets be spent down on health and LTC costs to qualify. They can be spent down on anything, such as exempt resources including cars, expensive homes, Medicaid annuities, etc. The question KFF should be asking and answering is “What if Medicaid didn’t give away LTC after people ignore that risk and end up poor?” If that were true, many more would save, invest or insure for LTC and many fewer would end up poor and dependent on Medicaid.
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