Many Georgia seniors turn to Medicaid to help cover long-term medical care costs. However, doing so may affect the estates of some seniors.
What is the Medicaid Estate Recovery program?
Medicaid Estate Recovery
The Medicaid Estate Recovery Program is a federally required program. Chapter 111-3-8 of the Rules of Department of Community Health, Medical Assistance explains the program. This program requires that Medicaid recipients who have estates over a certain value reimburse taxpayers for certain long-term medical expenses and community and home-based services paid for by Medicaid. The state takes this reimbursement from the deceased person’s estate after death.
Estates affected by the program
The program may affect the estate of any person receiving Medicaid who lives in a nursing home, intermediate care facility for the mentally retarded or another medical facility. Additionally, the program may apply to Medicaid recipients who are at least 55 years old and receive either community or home-based care or nursing home care. The program applies to all assets; however, estates with a value of less than $25,000 are not affected. The Medicaid program notifies applicants about the program before approving them for Medicaid benefits.
Heirs of an affected estate may apply for a hardship waiver. However, they must prove that any recovery from the estate under this program would subject them to undue hardship.
If you or a loved one may need Medicaid assistance to pay for long-term medical costs, it is important to consider the potential impact of the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program during the estate planning process.