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Unexpected Medicaid Estate Recovery Hiccup – Part 1

Medicaid’s estate recovery law requires state Medicaid offices to attempt to recover paid benefits from the estates of Medicaid recipients after they die. New Jersey takes an expanded definition of estate, which includes probate assets (those passing by way of a will or otherwise thru the estate administration process) and non-probate assets such as those held in certain trusts.

A Medicaid applicant must have less than $2000 in assets to his/her name to qualify for and maintain Medicaid eligibility, so you might think that there shouldn’t be much to attempt to recover. You’d be wrong.

The Medicaid laws, rules and regulations are complicated and there are many exceptions under which assets that are subject to estate recovery do not prevent a person, while alive, from qualifying for Medicaid. At the same time, once the estate recovery process is reached there are no real disputes as to what the State should be looking to recover.

For the first time in our office, however, we discovered that a mistake did happen when we got to the estate recovery process. Next week I’ll share more.