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Once you spend your own assets down to the $2000 level so that is all you have left, you can apply for Medicaid to kick in and pay for any long term care costs on your behalf.
But if you wanted to protect your assets from having to be spent down on your own care, if you get them out of your name at least 5 years before you need long term care, then they would be exempt and you could leave them to your family or friends as gifts.
So if you took all your assets and put them into an irrevocable trust today, and 5 years and a day from now you needed to go into long term care, Medicaid would pay for all of it and those assets would be protected in the trust to go to whoever you named as beneficiaries..