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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

State can seize your assets to pay for care after you’re forced into Medicaid by Obamacare

Posted by on Dec. 18, 2013 at 9:37 AM
  • 113 Replies

It wasn’t the moonlight, holiday-season euphoria or family pressure that made Sophia Prins and Gary Balhorn, both 62, suddenly decide to get married.

It was the fine print.

As fine print is wont to do, it had buried itself in a long form — Balhorn’s application for free health insurance through the expanded state Medicaid program. As the paperwork lay on the dining-room table in Port Townsend, Prins began reading.

She was shocked: If you’re 55 or over, Medicaid can come back after you’re dead and bill your estate for ordinary health-care expenses.

The way Prins saw it, that meant health insurance via Medicaid is hardly “free” for Washington residents 55 or older. It’s a loan, one whose payback requirements aren’t well advertised. And it penalizes people who, despite having a low income, have managed to keep a home or some savings they hope to pass to heirs, Prins said.


by on Dec. 18, 2013 at 9:37 AM
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jcrew6
by Gold Member on Dec. 18, 2013 at 9:40 AM

And from Left Leaning Daily Ko's there are even concerns:

We haven’t had lots of people younger than 65 on Medicaid, because in most states simply earning less than the Federal Poverty Level did not qualify one for Medicaid.

And we haven’t had many people with lots of assets on Medicaid, because in most places you have to have less than around $2400 to your name before Medicaid will cover you. You can keep your house and your car, but Medicaid reserves the right to put liens on them and take them when you die.

But now we have the Affordable Care Act, and its expectation that everyone in the lower tier of income will end up in the Medicaid system. To accomplish this, they have dropped the asset test. So now we will have lots of people ages 55-64, who have assets but not a lot of income right now, for whatever reason, on Medicaid.

The kicker of it is, if you make the right amount to qualify for a subsidized health insurance plan, your costs are going to 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 day you turn 55…

How will this play out? No one knows, as far as I can tell. But it is easy to see how this could become a real problem. If someone is low income and goes on Medicaid, will Medicaid put a lien on their house? If they need to sell their house and move, will they then lose all their equity in paying off the lien? Will people get hit with bills and liens for many thousands of dollars, even if they were healthy and hardly ever went to the doctor?

shuturpiehole
by Member on Dec. 18, 2013 at 10:16 AM

OP do you have any links with examples of people's estates actually being charged, or adult children losing a parents home due to Medicaid demanding being paid back? Or is this just something that thoretically COULD happen?

jaxTheMomm
by Platinum Member on Dec. 18, 2013 at 10:26 AM

If you read the entire article, it's something that theoretically could happen, and it's caused by a clash in state vs federal laws.

It seems that Washington state is scrambling now to draft an emergency rule to fix this.

What a crazy thing.

cathygymboree
by Bronze Member on Dec. 18, 2013 at 12:31 PM
5 moms liked this

Why do people need to leave anything to heirs if the government has to pay their way?

I'd like to get a sensible answer to that.

Seems rather entitled.

jcrew6
by Gold Member on Dec. 18, 2013 at 12:34 PM

The reports are that this is listed in the enrollment documents.  In the 2 most news reports in Washington state.

What do you think about the idea that the state has a right to do this? 

Quoting shuturpiehole:

OP do you have any links with examples of people's estates actually being charged, or adult children losing a parents home due to Medicaid demanding being paid back? Or is this just something that thoretically COULD happen?


tanyainmizzou
by on Dec. 18, 2013 at 12:36 PM
2 moms liked this

Your estate should pay your bills after you die.

sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Dec. 18, 2013 at 12:36 PM
Quoting jaxTheMomm:

If you read the entire article, it's something that theoretically could happen, and it's caused by a clash in state vs federal laws.

It seems that Washington state is scrambling now to draft an emergency rule to fix this.

What a crazy thing.

Recovery will no longer apply to health benefits for those 55 and over, the Oregon Health Authority said, although the state will collect expenses for long-term care. On Friday, Washington Medicaid Director MaryAnne Lindeblad promised to draft an emergency rule very soon. The state also must revise the plan filed with federal authorities, but Lindeblad said she doesn’t expect problems or appeals of the rule. As for Prins and Balhorn, they’re good with their choice. Instead of paying $577 a month apiece for an unsubsidized private plan or worrying about losing their assets after death, as a married couple they’ll pay $76 a month for a midlevel “silver” plan with a tax credit. “Since we’ve been in an established relationship and love each other, the decision to get married was pretty easy,” Prins said.
sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Dec. 18, 2013 at 12:38 PM
1 mom liked this

 So you think the state should pay for it if there are ways for that person to pay a portion of their care?

Why wouldn't their estate be used to pay their bills?

If you have credit card debt with no protection when you die, they do the same thing..are you aware of that?

Quoting jcrew6:

The reports are that this is listed in the enrollment documents.  In the 2 most news reports in Washington state.

What do you think about the idea that the state has a right to do this? 

Quoting shuturpiehole:

OP do you have any links with examples of people's estates actually being charged, or adult children losing a parents home due to Medicaid demanding being paid back? Or is this just something that thoretically COULD happen?


 

UpSheRises
by Platinum Member on Dec. 18, 2013 at 12:38 PM
1 mom liked this

Soilent Green, anyone?

shuturpiehole
by Member on Dec. 18, 2013 at 12:38 PM

I think it's wrong.

But are there any examples of it happening yet.

Quoting jcrew6:

The reports are that this is listed in the enrollment documents.  In the 2 most news reports in Washington state.

What do you think about the idea that the state has a right to do this? 

Quoting shuturpiehole:

OP do you have any links with examples of people's estates actually being charged, or adult children losing a parents home due to Medicaid demanding being paid back? Or is this just something that thoretically COULD happen?



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