I do know for a fact that many elderly parents dispose of all of their worldly goods at least 5 years before they need medicaid/nursing home/intense hospital care. Usually they give the assets to their children. (The law says you must give it away at least 5 years, otherwise gov't can reclaim it.) As one old couple just told me, I saved all of my life and I sure as hell ain't going to give it to the gov't.
The medicaid law goes like this: if you are in need of medical services and you have no assets to pay for it, then the gov't will pay for it.
Today at least 4 out of 5 people in a nursing home the bill is being paid for by medicaid. OOOPS the tax payers.