Where might Medicare head?

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Already there is much speculation and rumor as to what changes are going to be forthcoming with the inauguration of the new president and with changes taking place in both the U.S. House of Representatives in Senate.

One of the rumors being discussed is the possibility of changes to Medicaid, which is the main governmental program that provides long-term care for seniors who are nursing home.

Remember, of the population in America that currently lives in a nursing home, 66 percent are funded by the Medicaid program. There is no other general entitlement program to fund long-term care. Spending for the Medicaid program was $530 billion in fiscal 2015 and the federal government contributed about 62 percent that.

One of the changes being discussed is changing Medicaid from an entitlement program where everybody gets the benefit assuming you are eligible, to a block grant program. A block grant sets up a finite amount of money. Once that amount is allocated there is no more to be distributed for needy people.

Therefore we could see seniors competing with ill children, pregnant women and the like in order to get coverage from a limited pool of assets, notwithstanding the likelihood that the needs of all of the above participants may exceed the amount in the pool.

This is obviously not something happen overnight, but I think seniors and their families should know that this is something that is under consideration and could create a sea change in Medicaid.

Stay tuned for further discussion.


Editor’s Note: Anthony B. Ferraro, BS, MSTax, CPA, JD, was the founder and principal of the 30-year law practice called The Law Offices of Anthony B. Ferraro, LLC. On October 1, 2016, Mr. Ferraro, and his staff merged his law practice into the well-established well-respected multifaceted 60-year-old law firm of DiMonte and Lizak LLC.

With this merger, Mr. Ferraro is now a Partner at DiMonte & Lizak and is now able to offer additional services to his clients in the areas of litigation, employment law, real estate services, commercial transactional services and guardianship and estate related litigation.

Mr. Ferraro’s contact information follows: Anthony B. Ferraro, Partner, Di Monte & Lizak, LLC, 216 Higgins Road, Park Ridge, IL 60068. Phone, 847-698-9600; Fax, 847-698-9624; Email, abferraro@dimontelaw.com; website, www.dimontelaw.com.


About Anthony B. Ferraro

Anthony B. Ferraro is the founder and managing member at the Law Offices of Anthony B. Ferraro. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in accountancy from DePaul University and his Master of Science in taxation. After receiving his CPA designation in 1978, he enrolled in law school, earning his Juris Doctor in 1983 from De Paul University. An elder law practitioner, his practice areas include Medicaid planning and applications, guardianship, probate & trust administration, long-term care planning, nursing home contracts and admission, senior estate planning, special needs planning, estate planning, and estate taxation.

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