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3 things to know about estate recovery in Colorado

Most nursing home residents in the U.S. have at least some of their medical costs covered by Medicaid. If you expect to be part of this group, or if you have a parent or spouse who is part of this group, you should be aware of estate recovery measures.

Broadly, estate recovery refers to state efforts to collect the cost of a person's Medicaid benefits after the recipient passes away. Whether you or your loved one relies or will rely on Medicaid, you should know a few essential details about estate recovery in Colorado.

  1. Recovery efforts typically involve the recipient's home. Estate recovery occurs when a Medicaid recipient passes away. The person's assets can then become eligible for recovery. Often, a home is the most substantial property, and unless otherwise exempted, the state can collect money from the sale of the house as reimbursement.
  2. There are exceptions and exemptions.  There are situations in which a person's estate can be exempt from recovery efforts. Situations can include if the recovery would cause hardship, if the decedent is survived by a spouse or dependent child, or the property is titled in joint tenancy. 
  3. You can plan ahead. When you understand that the state may take actions like placing a lien on a home or forcing the sale of the property, you can make some proactive decisions. For instance, retitling the propery in the name of the spouse, or as a son or daughter, living with and providing care for two or more years which avoided placment in a nursing facility. 

Estate recovery is just one element of Medicaid that can catch recipients and their families off-guard. To avoid expensive repercussions and unfortunate losses, you can be proactive and assess the options for Medicaid planning and asset protection.

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