TEXAS MEDICAID ESTATE RECOVERY PROGRAM

Questions and Answers

by

Mark R. Ensign, JD, CPA

 

What is the Texas Medicaid Estate Recovery Program?

    This is a new program that will attempt to recover part or all of the payments Medicaid made for long-term care services by filing a claim against the estate after the death of the Medicaid recipient.

Who is affected by this program?

    All those who would be the heirs of a nursing home resident whose long-term care was paid for by Medicaid if the recipient was aged 55 years or older.

Will the heirs of current Medicaid clients be affected?

    No, estate recovery will not apply to those who are already qualified for Medicaid.  Only the heirs of those who apply for Medicaid on or after September 1, 2004.

What is considered an estate?

    All the real and personal property the deceased Medicaid recipient owned at death such as a home, car and other personal property.  But there is no automatic exemption for any property, including the value of the house.

Will there by any exceptions from recovery of Medicaid costs?

    Yes, there are a few exceptions based on who are the survivors of the deceased Medicaid recipient such as a spouse.  And estate recovery will not be pursued by the state when the value of the estate is $10,000 or less.

Will there be any hardship waivers?

    Yes, the estate representative may file an application for a hardship waiver in some situations.  But the state will grant these waivers only on a case-by-case basis and only if the application for waiver is filed by the deadline.  If the waiver is granted, up to $50,000 of the value of the homestead may be excluded.

Can something be done to avoid or reduce estate recovery?

    Yes, attorneys who work in the area of Elder Law, assisting people in qualifying for Medicaid, will be able to counsel their clients about such planning.     Back

 
Mark R. Ensign, JD, CPA
Copyright 2004 Ensign Law Firm, P.C. All rights reserved.
Revised: 6/28/04

Not Certified by Texas State Board of Legal Specialization