Many states have some sort of reimbursement provision for elderly residents who use Medicaid to provide for long term care (such as nursing homes). Typically, a decedent’s estate is fair game for the state as it tries to recoup what it spent under Medicaid for the decedent. St. Louis Post Dispatch recently ran an interesting article Seizure of Assets from Medicaid recipients becomes heated issue in California.
Essentially, the argument for people impacted by Medicaid’s reimbursement provision state they are forced to choose between health care or leaving an estate to their heirs. These people think it is unfair that someone who is eligible for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) are not forced to make these reimbursements.
I am intimately familiar with a situation where a Missouri resident lived with her parent for ten years until she was forced to put her parent into a nursing home. Medicaid paid for the nursing home and when the parent passed, the State attempted to assert an interest in the decedent parent’s house as reimbursement for the amount expended by the State under Medicaid. The State was unsuccessful because of one of the exceptions under the provision where if the daughter was a primary care taker, the State was unable to assert the lien. Consult with an experienced estates and trusts attorney to get the full details on this issue if this is a situation you or your parents will face.
Many people (including myself) will be keeping an eye on this issue with Medicaid. As always, thank you for reading!
Tarun B. Rana, Esq.
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