The Medicaid program is a jointly financed federal and state assistance program established under Title XIX of the Social Security Act of 1965. The purpose of the program is to provide "federal financial assistance to States that choose to reimburse certain costs of medical treatment for needy persons." The Medicaid program's federal statutory and regulatory framework was described by Justice Powell of the United States Supreme Court as "among the most intricate ever drafted by Congress." Justice Powell added that the Act's "Byzantine construction... makes [it] 'almost unintelligible to the uninitiated." To add to these already significant difficulties, each state participating in the program develops its own eligibility requirements and standards for coverage. The complexity of these federal and state provisions, combined with the rising cost of nursing home care, has led many elderly Americans to seek the help of attorneys in order to protect their assets and plan for Medicaid- eligibility
Jonathan D. Frieden,
Medicaid Eligibility Planning for Aged Clients in Virginia,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol31/iss4/13