Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover expenses associated with long-term care, such as for nursing homes or assisted living facilities, which can cost as much as $11,000.00 or more per month. Medicaid for long-term care services will, however, cover the cost of that care if the applicant qualifies. The ability to qualify for benefits depends on the individual’s income and the value of their property. Individuals and couples who wish to leave a meaningful legacy to their heirs when they die should therefore plan ahead for their long-term care needs. Otherwise, their wishes for an inheritance by their children, grandchildren or preferred charitable causes might not come to fruition.
The state can make a probate claim related to benefits
Federal law requires that every state participating in the Medicaid program seek repayment from the estates of Medicaid recipients following their death. Under the estate recovery program, state Medicaid agencies are permitted to file a lien against the real estate of the Medicaid recipient or to file a claim in the estate of a deceased Medicaid recipient in order to reimburse the agency for some or all of the medical assistance funds expended on behalf of the Medicaid recipient. This is true even if repayment requires the sale of the deceased recipient’s home and the liquidation of all of their remaining property so that their loved ones inherit nothing, in as much as probate claims and liens of valid creditors, including the state, take priority over inheritance rights.
Therefore, advance Medicaid planning is not only beneficial for the individual needing care but also as a way to leave a meaningful legacy following their death. Seeking competent legal guidance is generally a good place to start.