Estate recovery programs vex families, news report finds
Some states are becoming more aggressive in claiming the estates of Medicaid beneficiaries after their deaths. Such policies trouble families who worry about losing their homes, a report from the Christian Science Monitor found.Families should be notified about estate-recovery programs when a beneficiary applies for Medicaid and dies, but that does not always happen, according to a policy adviser at the AARP Public Policy Institute. An AARP report found that in fiscal year 2003, states recouped $347 million from estate-recovery programs.
West Virginia in 2001 challenged the constitutionality of Medicaid estate-recovery programs, but a U.S. Circuit Court upheld the rule. Families are exempt from estate recovery if a spouse or a dependent younger than age 21 is still living.