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Administration doesn't propose big cuts in Medicaid funding

NAELA National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. MEMBER

Over the last several months, readers in New Jersey have likely been inundated with news of federal and state government budget cuts. Along the way, many may be wondering what programs will see cuts and what personal effect the changes will have. Recently, President Obama released a budget proposal that doesn't include significant cuts to the federal Medicaid program, which may be relevant to those considering Medicaid planning for long-term care.

Medicaid is a health care benefit program designed to meet the needs of individuals or families with low incomes. For those in long-term care, Medicaid may come into effect when their personal assets are nearly depleted. Staying in long-term care is known to be very pricey, so it's not hard to understand why people often fall back on public benefits when facing long-term medical problems.

One thing to remember is that when Medicaid pays for long-term care, it is not likely to be enough the kind of high-quality care individuals and their loved ones would hope for. This is why many people plan ahead and protect their assets in order to have funds available to supplement Medicaid's long-term care support.

Right now, the Obama Administration is working with states to negotiate the terms of Medicaid funding, which is provided cooperatively between the federal government and individual states. Broad cuts could have a negative effect on the program's ability to deliver support to individuals receiving long-term care. Additionally, cuts in the program could also adjust expectations for planning.

Like many public programs, Medicaid is incredibly complex. Adding the complexities of long-term planning for finances just makes the idea of Medicaid even more complicated. This is why it's best to consult with a trustworthy attorney when creating a long-term plan for care.

Source: New Jersey Herald, "Obama's budget to spare Medicaid from deep cuts," Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, April 4, 2013

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