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How do Medicaid liens work?

Under what circumstances can Medicaid put a lien on a deceased person's property?
Status: Open    May 17, 2015 - 11:50 PM


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Expert Answers

Mar 31, 2016 - 11:29 AM

This is state-specific, so you really need to contact an Elder Law attorney in that state to get a clear answer. Don't rely on the internet for answers! You might read a lawyer in Florida and count on that being the case in Virginia or wherever. Medicaid is not generally a very forgiving agency, so it is better to get it right the first time.

Here in Alabama, Medicaid will file a lien on all real estate but it will be filed while they are still alive and acted on after death. Some states might go after life insurance proceeds, IRA proceeds- the sky is the limit. So ask an Elder Law attorney for a definitive answer.

Apr 04, 2016 - 10:15 AM

According to Medicaid law, the state is required to attempt to recover the funds from a beneficiary’s probate estate after death. A probate estate includes all the assets that a person owns at the time of death that are allocated via probate court, which settles wills and transfers property in the absence of a will. Since Medicaid eligibility requires assets to be spent down to the allowable resource limit, usually the beneficiary’s only remaining asset is the home. Medicaid can place a lien on the home up to the amount that Medicaid had paid out for the patient’s care.

The specific laws differ by state, so it’s important to find out the particular Medicaid lien rules that your state has established.
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