States can seize assets to recoup costs under prezBOcare

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by g8orbill, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    Yeah, I occasionally deal with this in insurance. People retitle cars or whatever to avoid having it as an "asset." I doubt its for medicaid, but probably something with similar rules. I seem to remember something about a "look back window" from a class too ... like they would only look back two years for real propery transfers or something, but that is pretty hazy in my memory.
  2. cjgator76
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    cjgator76 Well-Known Member

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    Well, hold on just a dadgum minute. Upon further review, it appears that there IS a legit issue here. It arises due to changes in Medicaid made by Obamacare (mandatory participation, dropping the asset test for eligibility) and it's drawn some flak from observers on the Left.

    From a post titled Medicaid Estate Recovery + ACA: Unintended Consequences? on Daily Kos:

  3. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    Interesting stuff, does seem like a legit, if easily solveable problem (if we put politics aside, which might be naive).
  4. RealGatorFan
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    Um Ben, Medicare, not Medicaid. Unless you can tell me how people on Medicaid have estates worth plundering.

    Medicare affects a tiny portion of the masses. Obamacare affects nearly everyone. Imagine if states decided to go after everyone's pensions or retirement? The law needs to be changed to exclude Obamacare.
  5. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    The law pertains to Medicaid, specifically people ages 55-64.
  6. RealGatorFan
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    Ok, the thread does mention Medicaid but now I'm confused. Since when do people on Medicaid have estates? Last I checked, my mom and almost everyone on my side of the family on Medicaid have zero assets.
  7. RealGatorFan
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    RealGatorFan Premium Member

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    So the idea of an elderly couple with a $250K home who can't tap the equity and SS can't pay the bills, go on Medicaid or are supplemented. Then the states are thinking about being at the estate sale when they die? Or evict them? Hmm, I wonder if the states can tap the reverse mortgage?
  8. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    They usually don't. I think the law when eneacted was designed to recover $ from people who didnt disclose assets or came into money (like winning the lottery), or any number of situations where they slipped through the means/assets testing.
  9. GatorBen
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    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    http://aspe.hhs.gov/daltcp/reports/estaterec.htm

    There's a brief overview of how estate recovery works.

    Medicaid will frequently wind up sitting behind other creditors' claims in the priority of estate administration - and there are a lot of rules about when estate recovery can or can't be pursued. But if estate recovery is pursued, they can only go after the assets that make up the estate under state probate law and that are not afforded legal protection from creditors' claims (which, at least in states like Florida or Texas that offer broad protection from creditors' claims on a homestead passing to survivors, is likely to be very little for someone who was Medicaid eligible).
  10. RealGatorFan
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    Ok thanks for the info!
  11. busigator96
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    i know in arizona they can take your home for medical bills. i also know in florida they cannot take your homestead and one car.
  12. VAg8r1
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    It's great story. Unfortunately, it ignores some very relevant facts. First, the option of of recovering unpaid medical expenses from a deceased Medicaid recipient's estate has been in effect long before there was an Obamacare. Secondly, Medicaid is a joint federal/state program. It's actually a state decision whether or not to recover an outstanding medical debt from a deceased patient's estate. The practice is usually used in the case of deceased elderly nursing home residents whose expenses were paid under the state's Medicaid program.
  13. ThePlayer
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    The state of Washington (among others) is taking steps now to repeal this law.
    Authorities claim their intention was NOT to penalize citizens by taking their property from them.
  14. GatorBen
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    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    Then this has fallen victim to the politics of idiocy.

    I would love to hear how trying to, after the Medicaid recipient dies, recover assets that could partially pay for free healthcare the government provided to them - when, if the government hadn't provided free healthcare at all, a private company could and would do exactly the same thing to recoup their unpaid premiums or uncovered costs, is "penalizing a citizen by taking their property from them."

    It is, after all, such an unbearable penalty for the government to 1) give you free healthcare (since this doesn't happen at all unless that step has occurred) and then, 2) after you die, attempt to recover a minute fraction of their costs for doing so out of the same assets that any other creditor of the deceased could already make a claim on. :rolleyes:
  15. Spurffelbow833
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    Spurffelbow833 Well-Known Member

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    Sign your assets over to your children before you pass on if you can trust them not to evict you and take them away while you can still use them.
  16. VAg8r1
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    VAg8r1 Well-Known Member

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    The homestead exemption applies to living individuals. Creditors can still file claims against the estate of a deceased individual.
  17. GatorBen
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    GatorBen Well-Known Member

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    This gets complicated so I don't want to try to go into too much detail here, but title in homestead property in Florida can pass to certain relatives upon death without ever subjecting the property to creditors' claims (including Medicaid liens and the like).

    Article X, Section 4(b) of the Florida Constitution provides that "These exemptions [from forced sale, attachment of liens, etc.] shall inure to the surviving spouse or heirs of the owner."

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