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Medicaid’s Power to Recoup Benefits Paid: Estate Recovery

| Sep 4, 2020 | Medicaid

We have had a lot of Medicaid clients who ask questions regarding why and how Medicaid recovers what they have paid out on behalf of the Medicaid recipient.  Today’s blog provided by Elder Law Answers provides some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Federal law requires the State to attempt to recover certain benefits paid out on behalf of certain Medicaid recipients.

In Indiana, for Medicaid recipients age 55 or older, the State must seek recovery of payments from the individual’s estate for nursing facility services, home and community-based services, and related hospital and prescription drug services. States also have the option of recovering all Medicaid benefits from individuals over age 55, including costs for any medical care, not just long-term care benefits.

There are a few exceptions. The state cannot recover from the estate of a Medicaid recipient who has a surviving spouse until after the spouse passes away. After the spouse dies, the State may file a claim against the spouse’s estate but only those assets that were included in the Medicaid recipient’s probate estate are subject to recovery.  The State also cannot recover from the estate if the Medicaid recipient had a child who is under age 21 or a dependent child who is blind or disabled.  Also Medicaid recipient’s resources that were protected under the Indiana Long Term Care Program are not subject to estate recovery.

While the State must attempt to recover funds from the Medicaid recipient’s probate estate, meaning property that is held in the beneficiary’s name only, they have the option of seeking recovery against property in which the recipient had an interest but which passes outside of probate.  This includes jointly held assets, assets in a living trust, or life estates.  The State must follow a process in order to recover non-probate assets.  A versed attorney in Medicaid estate recovery can help you understand this process.

Planning for the if’s and when’s of life can be difficult, but putting together an estate plan or asset protection plan is one way to ensure you are protected for long term care.  At Severns & Howard our attorneys can help you determine an asset protection plan that is right for you and to find the best way to make your estate plan Medicaid ready, if you were to need the assistance for long term care.   Our attorneys can also help to determine if there are other avenues to assist in providing for asset protection after long term care benefit assistance has begun.  For more information and to schedule a free intake call with our paralegal Alesha, please call our office at 317-817-0300.

Article Provided by:  ElderLaw Answers