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Little-known aspect of Medicaid now
causing people to avoid coverage

Washington Post, by Sandhya Somashekhar

Original Article

Posted By:Dreadnought, 1/23/2014 10:15:06 PM

Add this to the litany of scary but improbable things people are hearing could happen because of the new federal health-care law: After you die, the state could come after your house. The concern arises from a long-standing but little-known aspect of Medicaid, the state-federal program that provides health coverage to millions of low-income Americans. In certain cases, a state can recoup its medical costs by putting a claim on a deceased person’s assets. This is not an issue for people buying private coverage on online marketplaces. And experts say it is unlikely that the millions of people in more

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: ruready?, 1/23/2014 10:21:12 PM     (No. 9703431)

Kind of like making a deal with the devil.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: texaspast, 1/23/2014 10:44:07 PM     (No. 9703458)

OK, this has been around a while. Some years ago, to qualify for Medicaid you actually had to be destitute - no money, no property you could sell to pay your medical bills (you know - back when the concept of people actually being responsible for their own expenses was not a completely horrid idea). That´s because Medicaid was intended for people who had absolutely no ability to pay - it was medical welfare. Then us lawyers figured out that you could just give the house to the kids (assuming they would let you continue to live there), and *bingo!* you are destitute! The government countered that with a 3-year look-back period (if you´ve given away significant amounts of property within the last 3 years, you don´t qualify), so we started messing with putting it into irrevocable trusts, etc. So the rules were finally changed to say ´OK - we´ll let you be covered by Medicaid, even though you still have a house in your name, but after you die, the house will be sold to pay back the government for what we spent on your medical care.´ I´ve got no problem with that.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: NorthernDog, 1/23/2014 11:02:37 PM     (No. 9703473)

Some people were automatically enrolled in Medicaid based on the data they entered in the Obamacare website. It´s like getting caught in a spider´s web. Once ensnared you just sit there waiting for them to drain your blood.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: joew9, 1/23/2014 11:11:09 PM     (No. 9703481)

Medicaid has always worked this way.
It´s a government charity only for the completely poor. Medicaid is NOT supposed to be for someone who has wealth. So if you do have wealth you are to use it up before you can get medicaid. And if you own a house you are not completely poor.
But then they thought, oh dear, if we stick by that rule then we could end up making an old lady sell her house then she would have no place to live if she got well. So they added the bit about you don´t have to sell your house. But it only applies to someone over 55. If you die under 55 then they don´t take the house.

So it makes perfect sense to collect after death though there usually wouldn´t be anything to collect. But the house exception means they have something to collect. So sell the house and pay what is owed to Medicaid. If any is left then that´s for debtors, bills, funeral home and lastly heirs. It´s not unfair that the heirs are last and probably won´t get anything. If you want your heirs to get something then save enough money and build a big enough estate that it can pay all your old age bills and still leave something to the kids. And you can´t start thinking about this when you retire. It´s too late.

It´s not unfair. But really what´s kinda unfair is if someone has a house then they really aren´t destitute so they shouldn´t be getting the money. Everyone should earn their own way in life. But I can sorta see the reasoning for allowing an old lady to keep her house.



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Reply 5 - Posted by: Envirodude, 1/23/2014 11:28:56 PM     (No. 9703501)

1993 would be the republican congress and their contract on America, right?

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Reply 6 - Posted by: Timber Queen, 1/24/2014 12:33:33 AM     (No. 9703548)

FTA: “Some worries stem from the law’s unintended consequences, such as last year’s cancellations of health plans by insurers whose old policies did not meet the new standards. The flare-up shook public confidence in the administration’s forthrightness about the impact of the measure.”

The loss of private policies was the point of the new standards, it’s a feature not a bug, and the shaking of public confidence in the administration’s “forthrightness” is commonly known as identifying a liar.

FTA: Quote from the ever reliable AARP, “I would inquire about the application of [Medicaid asset recovery], but I wouldn’t succumb to the fear of rules you don’t understand as a reason you wouldn’t become covered under Medicaid,’ she said.”

Yes, don’t succumb to the fear of rules you don’t understand. That doesn’t stop IRS agents from harassing conservative groups or Congress from passing laws. Understanding the rules is so last century!


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Reply 7 - Posted by: JediJerry, 1/24/2014 12:40:20 AM     (No. 9703552)

The good thing is laws can be changed and even....gasp...repealed, if there is a Congress and a President with the guts willpower virtue and honor to do the right thing. Given our current state of the union, that ain´t gonna happen any time soon. Buh bye grammies house!

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Reply 8 - Posted by: LoneVoice, 1/24/2014 7:06:39 AM     (No. 9703691)

Granny is not being kicked out of her home. She gets to live there for the rest of her life. Even if granny dies grandpa still gets to live there until he dies. If minor children live in the house after the grand parents die they get to stay there until some point after they turn eighteen.
Only after all those people leave does the house get taken by the state.

What part of that seems unfair?

I don´t see how receiving a huge windfall just because grandma died is some kind of "right."

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Reply 9 - Posted by: maryann4629, 1/24/2014 7:26:39 AM     (No. 9703729)

It´s the right thing to do. Too often, people figure out ways to grab the assets and dump Granny and her nursing home bills on the taxpayers.

Just wish this same policy could be applied to Food Stamp recipients.

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