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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 76394  
Subject: Re: Obamacare and estate recovery Date: 8/31/2014 4:43 PM
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According to the article cited, the law to recover Medicaid costs from an estate was done back in 1993. This is not new news.

Is it fair to impose estate recovery on Medicaid enrollees but not on other subsidy recipients? Is it fair if recovery adheres to the basic requirements in federal statute, but, thereafter, is based on state policy which differs from state to state and, thus, is not applied equally across the nation to all Medicaid enrollees at age 55 and up? Is targeting a specific age group fair? Or legal?

I don't see a problem with recovering Medicaid expenses from an estate since these are expenses paid for the deceased for their medical care and typically long-term care in a nursing home. This is different from the subsidy you are talking about because the subsidy is for the medical insurance where the Medicaid expenses being recovered are for the medical care and there are generally magnitudes of difference between the 2.

The article seems to argue that it is only poor people who have their estates taken to recoup Medicaid costs as though this is something unique. The fact is that it is poor people or people without enough assets to pay for their own medical care and nursing home expenses for whom Medicaid picks up the tab, and so it is only those people who have to pay those expenses back. For that group that doesn't need Medicaid to pay for their expenses, they are already paying for their own expenses out of their assets.

The big difference here is that people with assets are paying for their own medical care and nursing home care as they go from their own assets, and Medicaid recipients are getting medical care and nursing home care and then use whatever assets are left after they die to pay for what they can. And if they cannot pay the whole thing, then the taxpayers foot the rest of the bill.

I don't have a problem with this, and find it only fair that people use their own assets, however large or small, to pay for their own care before the taxpayers pay for it via Medicaid.

We just settled 2 estates - one for DH's aunt who owed Medicaid in excess of $400k, and one for his father who owed Medicaid just under $200k, both for long-term nursing home stays. His father had no assets, and there was nothing there for Medicaid, so the taxpayers get that bill. His aunt had a house which was sold with the proceeds going to Medicaid after final expenses and legal expense to settle the estate, and Medicaid still took it on the chin for just under $200k.

Personally, I have no problem with it working out this way, and don't think it is unfair that these folks pay back what was spent on their care. I don't see an inequity here, although I see the political pundits wanting to get people riled up. It still boils down to you pay for your own care while you are alive, and if you cannot afford it, then Medicaid pays for it and they get paid back whatever they can after you are gone.
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