Planning for Life

Expanded Estate Recovery NOT included in House Committee on Ways and Means FY 2017 Budget Recommendations

Posted by Elizabeth Stepakoff on April 26, 2016

By Patricia C. D'Agostino

We are happy to report that the House Committee on Ways and Means did not include Governor Baker’s proposal to expand Medicaid estate recovery. As previously reported, the Governor’s proposed provisions would allow MassHealth to make claims against all property in which the deceased MassHealth member had an ownership interest immediately prior to death. This would include property passing by survivorship or beneficiary designation to a spouse or child that was held in joint names, life estate, tenants by the entirety or living trusts. Current law limits estate recovery to the probate estate of a deceased MassHealth member – meaning the Commonwealth could recover if the deceased member owned their home in his or her name alone.Fortunately, the House Ways and Means Committee did NOT include this proposal in its FY 2017 budget recommendations on April 13th. Thank you to all of you who submitted letters to your legislators in opposition to this provision. It worked!

It is still possible that the Senate Ways and Means Committee could include this recommendation in its budget, which will come out some time in the middle of May. If you have not already done so, please send a letter to your State Senator by May 9th to oppose this Outside Section. As you can see, your letter does make a difference.

If you are married and own your home jointly or have created a life estate deed, HERE is a sample letter.

If you are not married, but own your home jointly or have created a life estate deed, HERE is a sample letter.

If you are an elder law attorney, HERE is a sample letter.

Please click HERE to find your State Senator along with their email and mailing address.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION AND FOR YOUR HELP AND THANK YOU TO MASSACHUSETTS NAELA FOR WORKING TO DEFEAT THIS PROPOSAL!

Topics: Massachusetts, MassHealth

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