Will You Owe Debt After Death? The Medicaid Surprise

Posted: Jan 27, 2014 12:01 AM

This was not in the fine print of the Affordable Care Act (that no one read), and there was nothing in it that changed the existing law from 1993. The ACA however, did expand the number of people who are eligible for Medicaid, so now there are more people from the ages of 55 to 65 whose estates could be on the hook for Medicaid expenses after the beneficiary dies.

This sounds like a cash grab to me. Many states have not changed the law to limit the amount of expenses the government can claim are owed for Medicaid, but Oregon and Washington have issued emergency rule changes.In Washington it now says that the state can only recover the cost of nursing home care for the 55-65 age groups.Oregon followed this path as well.However there are 23 other states that have expanded Medicare under Obamacare and they have not changed their estate recovery policies. This could end up with the deceased person’s heirs losing homes, property and other assets.

The 1993 law stated that spouses and children under 21 of the deceased person were exempt from estate recovery, but the rules can vary by state. However, with rule changes running rampant under this administration, there is no guarantee of anything anymore. Laws and rules can be changed on a whim and the public will never even be aware of it.

Just to give you an example of the amount of money that the states could potentially confiscate, in 2004, California collected $44.6 million through estate recovery and MediCal officials say that they expect 1 to 2 million more enrollees by 2015. That could add up to a lot of money. Minnesota collected $25 million in 2004 and is keeping its recovery program in place with no alterations.

Dr. Jane Orient of The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons says; “I think that people are maybe in for a shock when they find out that their heirs are going to be paying for their care, because they got into a system under false pretenses”. Just one more thing that no one told us about Obamacare and the mainstream media is not mentioning even now.

Prior to Obamacare we didn’t have a large amount of people on Medicare that had many assets. You basically had to have less than $2400 dollars to your name in order to qualify. It was meant to help the poor. Now with Obamacare, it assumes that anyone in the lower income level will end up in the Medicaid system.In order to accomplish this, they dropped the asset test, so now we have a lot of people ages 55-64 who have assets but not a lot of income right now due to the bad economy or other circumstances.

As unbelievable as this sounds, if you make the right amount and qualify for a subsidized plan, your costs will be shared and subsidized by the government, but if you go on Medicaid, you owe the entire amount that Medicaid spends on you from the time you turn 55!

So just a word of warning. If you navigate the Obamacare waters and find you are eligible for Medicaid, don’t be seduced into believing that your health care will be free and that it is a great deal. With this administration you need to read the fine print with a magnifying glass and have your attorney next to you. If not, your assets could effectively belong to the government because you were forced into something that you never even wanted in the first place.

Morgan Brittany