Many people have never heard of Medicaid Estate Recovery. Medicaid recipients may not realize that benefits received for long-term care may have to be repaid. After certain recipients pass away, Medicaid may attempt to recovery some or all of the funds paid for their care. You may need Medicaid benefits in the future, so it’s important to know how to go about protecting your estate from Medicaid recovery.
What is Medicaid Estate Recovery?
Medicaid is a federally funded, state administered program that pays health-care benefits to qualified individuals.
Due to federal law, individual state Medicaid programs must attempt to recover some of the money paid to certain recipients age 55 or older. As with most government programs, there are restrictions to Medicaid Estate Recovery.
And there are ways to protect against it.
Protection from Medicaid Estate Recovery.
Advance planning is key. It may be too late if Medicaid files a claim against an estate.
Alabama’s Partnership for Long-Term Care program allows people to buy long-term care insurance. Restrictions apply, and you may need to qualify to purchase this insurance.
Some use trusts as a part of their estate planning with an eye toward asset protection. Currently, only an irrevocable trust provides protection from Medicaid Estate Recovery. Even then, an irrevocable trust is still subject to Medicaid’s 60-month look back period.
Simply giving your assets to your family may create more problems than it solves. Your estate may be protected from Medicaid Recovery, but there’s no guarantee your family will do the right thing.
Your best course of action is to talk to an attorney who has extensive Medicaid experience.
A Final Note
Some states have what are called filial responsibility laws. In these states, children can be held accountable for their parents’ nursing home bills. Fortunately, Alabama does not have this type of law.
Learn More About Protecting Your Estate.
The attorneys at Adams & Miller, P.C. can help you with Medicaid eligibility, applications, and asset protection. For a free consultation, contact us at 256-251-2137 or use our convenient Contact Form. We have offices in Anniston and Birmingham and we assist clients in the Leeds, Gadsden, Hoover, Talladega, Vestavia Hills, and surrounding areas.