ESTATE PLANNING INSIGHTS By Ethan R. Okura

In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Social Security Act into law, which included two programs we often hear about in the news: Medicaid (Title XIX) and Medicare (Title XVIII). Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that pays the medical costs of those with limited resources. It also provides some health care benefits not covered by Medicare, such as long-term care services in nursing homes.

Medicaid laws are very complicated and difficult to research thoroughly. They are a combination of federal statutes and regulations, Hawai‘i statutes and Hawai‘i administrative rules, the Hawaii State Plan (an agreement between Hawai‘i and the federal government that describes how Hawai‘i implements Medicaid), federal guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and policies established by the Hawaii Department of Human Services.

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