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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Expanded Medicaid’s Fine Print Holds Surprise: ‘Payback’ From Estate After Death

As thousands of state residents enroll in Washington’s expanded Medicaid program, many will be surprised at fine print: After you’re dead, your estate can be billed for ordinary health-care expenses. State officials are scrambling to change the rule.

It wasn’t the moonlight, holiday-season euphoria or family pressure that made Sofia Prins and Gary Balhorn, both 62, suddenly decide to get married.

It was the fine print.

As fine print is wont to do, it had buried itself in a long form — Balhorn’s application for free health insurance through the expanded state Medicaid program. As the paperwork lay on the dining-room table in Port Townsend, Prins began reading.

She was shocked: If you’re 55 or over, Medicaid can come back after you’re dead and bill your estate for ordinary health-care expenses.

The way Prins saw it, that meant health insurance via Medicaid is hardly “free” for Washington residents 55 or older. It’s a loan, one whose payback requirements aren’t well advertised. And it penalizes people who, despite having a low income, have managed to keep a home or some savings they hope to pass to heirs, Prins said.

With an estimated 223,000 adults seeking health insurance headed toward Washington’s expanded Medicaid program over the next three years, the state’s estate-recovery rules, which allow collection of nearly all medical expenses, have come under fire.



Anonymous said...

This is communism pure and simple you own nothing and owe the evil politicans and bankers your legacy..this is pure madness and must be changed or we are all doomed and our childrens childrens children are also doomed to be your reps now...STOP THE MADNESS BEFORE ITS TOO LATE

Anonymous said...

Boy the more we read what in the afordable health care bill(puke) the worse it gets ...HOWS THAT HOPE AND CHANGE WORKIN FOR YOU IGNORNANT DEMOCRATS NOW!!??

Anonymous said...

So why should taxpayers subsidize the healthcare of someone who owns real estate????