Obamacare death debt: States can seize assets to recoup Medicaid costs

Obamacare death debt: States can seize assets to recoup Medicaid costs

[Ed. – It’s the law that just keeps on giving.]

Though many may not realize it, states are allowed to recover the cost of health care after someone’s death by seizing their assets. It applies to Medicaid recipients who are between the ages of 55 and 64. The law has been in place since 1993, when Congress realized states were going broke over rising Medicaid expenses.

But under Obamacare, Medicaid eligibility has expanded dramatically along with the promise that the federal government will pick up the cost of the higher tab — at least for the first few years, after which states will be on the hook for a portion of the increase.

Millions more are entering the system, perhaps without knowing that their assets could be at risk.

However, … others are opting out.

A Washington state couple in their early 60’s actually got married recently so their combined income would keep them out of Medicaid and allow them to purchase a plan on the health exchange. Filing as individuals, their incomes had been low enough that they qualified for Medicaid.

They married primarily because Sophia Prins owns a home and wants to will it to her children without any worry that the government will attach a lien for the cost of her medical care. Prins doesn’t think it’s fair to go after the assets of people who get government assistance through Medicaid, but not those getting taxpayer subsidies through the exchange plans.

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