Medicaid is designed to pay for long-term care in nursing homes for Americans who cannot afford it.
The New York Times recently discussed the debate over the ethics of hiding your assets to qualify for the government payment of long-term nursing care in its article "The Ethics of Adjusting Your Assets to Qualify for Medicaid."
On one side of the debate are people who point out that those who can plan for Medicaid are wealthy enough to hire attorneys. Therefore, they should not hide assets to take advantage of a program designed to help the poor.
On the other, side people point out that nursing home care is extremely expensive. They believe that it is not fair for people to have to exhaust all of their assets, leaving nothing for their children to inherit, in order to have some of that care paid for by a program they fund with their taxes.
Whichever side you are on, it is important to know that if you do want to plan for Medicaid, then you need to see an elder law attorney about doing so and you need to do that long before you will ever need nursing home care.
Reference: New York Times (July 21, 2017) "The Ethics of Adjusting Your Assets to Qualify for Medicaid."