When Medicaid pays for benefits on behalf of their enrollees, they make that money back in the form of what is known as a Medicaid lien. For individuals ages 55 and up, states are required to recover payments via the person’s estate for things like nursing facility services, home and community-based services, and any and all related hospital and prescription drug services.
There are certain situations in which any money remaining in a trust after a Medicaid enrollee passes away can be used to reimburse Medicaid. However, states cannot reimburse money from the estate of a deceased person if he or she has a spouse that’s still alive, a child under age 21, or one who is blind or disabled, regardless of age. The states are also required to waive estate recovery when not doing so would cause undue hardship.
However, states may also impose some liens for Medicaid benefits that had been paid incorrectly in an effort to receive judgment by the court. They may also impose liens on any real property during the lifetime of a Medicaid enrollee who is institutionalized permanently. Exceptions are as follows: a spouse, child under age 21, a blind or disabled child (regardless of age) are living in the house, or there is a sibling who has an equity interest in the home.
It is required by law, however, for states to remove the Medicaid lien when the enrollee is discharged from the facility or hospital and returns home.
If you or someone you love needs assistance with Elder Care law issues, call 856-281-3131. Let us help ease your stress and give you a plan.