If you have Medicaid, you will likely have low health care costs. However, in some instances, after you pass, your state may attempt to get back some of those costs through Medicaid estate recovery. That could affect what your heirs inherit. You should understand what your state might do.
- Rules: Children may not be able to inherit the home of a parent for whom Medicaid has covered medical costs. Federal law requires that states recover Medicaid costs from the estates of some Medicaid patients and allows states to recover these costs from the estates of other Medicaid patients.
- Process: Each state has different laws on whether it will impose a lien on a Medicaid patient’s property.
- Timing: States cannot recover any Medicaid costs from the sale of the home of a Medicaid patient living in a nursing home until the patient and his or her surviving spouse living in that home have passed away or the property, which the state has claimed a stake in, is sold.
- Waivers: States must have procedures for not taking money from a Medicaid patient’s estate when it would cause undue hardship.