Estate Planning and Business Law

Medi-Cal Recovery

Medi-Cal Recovery

By Ivette M. Santaella

We receive many phone calls regarding Medi-Cal recovery. Many people fear that Medi-Cal will put a lien on their home and that they will lose their homes.

Medi-Cal is a federal program that is administered and regulated by the state of California and provides nursing home services; inpatient/outpatient services, home and community based services, hospital and prescription drug services and payments to managed care plans, amongst other benefits.

Following are the general rules regarding Medi-Cal recovery in California:

Upon the passing of the individual who received Medi-Cal benefits, California can file a claim – not a lien – against the deceased individual’s estate.

California cannot recover against the estate of an individual under the following circumstances:

  1. There are no assets in the deceased’s estate;
  2. The surviving spouse is still alive;
  3. There is a child who is under 21 years of age;
  4. There is a disabled or blind child, regardless of age;
  5. Before the death of the Medi-Cal recipient;
  6. If the deceased was under 55 years of age when he or she received services. But if the deceased was receiving Medi-Cal benefits for nursing home care, then California can file a claim.

If the above exceptions do not apply and the deceased has assets in his or her estate upon passing, California will look to be reimbursed from those assets.

If you require further assistance on this matter, schedule a consult with the experienced Estate Planning and Elder Law attorneys of Blackwell, Santaella & Jahangiri, located in the San Ramon, Danville, Dublin and Contra Costa areas.

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