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Medicaid's nursing home coverage and asset transfers

  • William F. Bassett
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    Medicaid covers the costs of a long nursing home stay. This coverage may create an incentive for the elderly to transfer their assets to their children in order to qualify for Medicaid before entering a nursing home. Previous researchers had found little evidence that such behavior was widespread or that asset transfers were large. However, data from AHEAD suggest that the self-assessed probability of entering a nursing home is a significant determinant of the likelihood of making an asset transfer. The budgetary implications of these Medicaid-induced asset transfers are probably fairly small, but not insignificant.

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    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/2004/200415/200415abs.html
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    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/2004/200415/200415pap.pdf
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    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2004-15.

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    Date of creation: 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2004-15
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    Web page: http://www.federalreserve.gov/

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    1. Bernheim, B Douglas & Shleifer, Andrei & Summers, Lawrence H, 1985. "The Strategic Bequest Motive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1045-76, December.
    2. J. Gruber & A. Yelowitz, . "Public Health Insurance and Private Savings," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1135-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    3. David M. Cutler & Louise Sheiner, 1994. "Policy Options for Long-Term Care," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in the Economics of Aging, pages 395-442 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Powers, Elizabeth T., 1998. "Does means-testing welfare discourage saving? evidence from a change in AFDC policy in the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 33-53, April.
    5. Jonathan S. Feinstein & Chih-Chin Ho, 2000. "Elderly Asset Management and Health: An Empirical Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7814, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Bernheim, B. Douglas & Lemke, Robert J. & Scholz, John Karl, 2004. "Do estate and gift taxes affect the timing of private transfers?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(12), pages 2617-2634, December.
    7. Norton, Edward C, 1995. "Elderly Assets, Medicaid Policy, and Spend-Down in Nursing Homes," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 41(3), pages 309-29, September.
    8. Alvin E. Headen Jr., 1993. "Economic Disability and Health Determinants of the Hazard of Nursing Home Entry," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(1), pages 80-110.
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