California Healthline: Consumer Advocates Support California Bill Limiting Asset Seizure

by George Lauer, California Healthline Features Editor

Collecting money from the estates of deceased Medicaid beneficiaries is not a new practice, but it is generating new interest.

For a couple decades, all states have been required by CMS to try to get reimbursement for long-term care expenses of Medicaid beneficiaries who die at age 55 or older. Trying to recoup other Medicaid costs for deceased beneficiaries is optional. California is one of 10 states that actively pursues reimbursement for a variety of Medi-Cal services and benefits after a beneficiary dies. Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program.

This week, the California Legislature will deal with a proposal that would require California to back off from its practice of recouping Medi-Cal costs beyond those associated with long-term care.

Consumer advocates say California’s reputation is scaring potential Medi-Cal beneficiaries away from coverage, which undermines the intent of the Affordable Care Act.

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