For Medicare purposes, your assets are not relevant. For Medicaid, if you make gifts, it will cause you to be ineligble for a period of time unless 5 years have passed since the gift. It would be a good idea to consult with an elder law attorney in your area before making any gifts. Check with www.naela.org for a search directory. See link below. Good luck.
If you found this answer helpful, please consider clicking on the thumbs up symbol at the bottom.
Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.
So long as the elderly person does not commit fraud when answering the application question, "have you or your spouse disposed of any property for less than fair market value?" then the gifting is OK.
The proper way to gift to make sure the elderly person does not recieve a penalty that they cannot cover with other assets is the real trick. There are many good ways/legal ways, to protect assets to apply for medicaid benefits.
Also, just so you know, medicare is not asset tested, and does not require a spend down. Please visit with a qualified Elder Law Attorney.