Aging Options

Medicare liens cannot recover more than medical expenses

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Question authority! That is what many Baby Boomers grew up with – and for a good reason. If you ever need to access long term care benefits under Medicaid, understand that Medicaid will place a lien on the property you own.  That lien can be attached at the time of your passing. The state will send the estate a bill that they expect to recover. Turns out that the bill the state sends may well be over-inflated. Under law, the state can only recover what it has paid out for ‘medical expenses.’ All expenditures that are not medical expenses are not amounts the state can collect, but try to collect the states do.  Here is a case out of Florida that clarifies the issue. Best thing, of course, is not to avoid liens by preplanning around Safe Harbor Trusts. And if you have to deal with a lien, call an elder law attorney who is familiar with estate recovery rules who can make sure that your estate will pay only what is needed to be paid and not a penny more. Here is the Florida case you might find useful. Here is a link to an article discussing preplanning issues and how you can totally sidestep this landmine altogether.

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