Friday, January 24, 2014

Medicaid extension with Obamacare could lead states to come after heirs, even seize homes; unintended consequence of Obamacare provision?

A new wrinkle has occurred in the Obamacare debacle. 
  
In states that accepted the Medicaid expansion (as federally funded), elderly (but still under 65) persons who sign up for it as a result of the way they buy individual policies under the Affordable Care Act could put their estates at risk of losing their homes after their passing.  In some cases, states could pursue heirs for the deceased person who had used the program.  If an heir was living in the house, he or she could possibly be evicted (after foreclosure) and become suddenly homeless.
  
The risk is probably mitigated in practice by “look back” rules that prevent people from giving away assets to qualify for Medicaid rules, although that situation is seen more commonly with nursing home stays that conventional medical care.
  
It could also be complicated in some states (particularly like Pennsylvania) if these states try to enforce their filial responsibility laws (or “poor laws”) against adult children for indigent parents’ bills. 
  
The problem is covered in a front page story in the Washington Post on Friday January 24, 2014, by Sandhya Somashekhar, link here
  

In my own case, there was never any use of Medicaid for my mother’s care.  

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