The expense of long-term care, intensified by an aging population, has contributed to a nationwide financial strain on the Medicaid program, complicating the already difficult tasks of medical and fiscal planning for the elderly. Missouri's elderly population is substantial, the state having ranked 14d' in the country for the number of residents over age 65 in 2000. These senior citizens face the prospect of paying for long-term care, and many of them will rely on Medicaid for all or part of the cost. Medicaid is the primary taxpayer-funded program that finances long-term care. Current projections suggest that the cost of Medicaid "will continue to increase exponentially." As a result of this projected increase, both the federal government and the state of Missouri have enacted legislation restricting the availability of Medicaid benefits for long-term care - limits that affect the financial planning of the baby boom generation, especially those in the middle-class.

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