Planning for Life

SJC Imposes Time Limit on MassHealth Estate Recovery

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on January 5, 2021

By Harry S. Margolis

MassHealth-estate-recovery-attorney-Wellesley-MA-02481

In an important case, the Supreme Judicial Court rules that MassHealth may not seek estate recovery against the estate of a beneficiary more than three years after her death. In the Matter of the Estate of Jacqueline Ann Kendall (SJC-12881, December 28, 2020) involves a claim by MassHealth for reimbursement of $104,738.23 it had paid for the care of Jacqueline Ann Kendall before she died on August 7, 2014.

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Topics: MassHealth, MassHealth lien, estate recovery

The Pernicious Unfairness of MassHealth Estate Recovery

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on November 26, 2019

By Harry S. Margolis

MassHealth-estate-recovery-planning-attorney-Wellesley-MA

Medicaid (MassHealth in Massachusetts) is health insurance for people who can't afford to buy private insurance. But its coverage is much broader than that of private health insurance, including coverage of long-term care costs, paying for nursing home care, and in some instances, for assisted living and home health care. To qualify, you must satisfy very complicated financial eligibility rules—rules that often can be traps for the unwary.

One of the most significant traps is Medicaid's right to recover its expenses from your estate after you die. Since about the only asset you're allowed to own and still get Medicaid coverage is your home, this right of estate recovery is the state's claim against your home. In other words, if you own a home, Medicaid is really a loan. It will pay for your care, but your house will have to be sold when you die to repay the state for the services it provided.

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Topics: estate recovery

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