The Disadvantage Of Free Healthcare Comes With A Price

Cerees Moretti
Can Medicaid Take a Senior’s House to Pay Their Nursing Home Bill?K. Gabriel Heiser

Medicaids Dark Secrets

For many participants, the program that provides health care to millions of low-income Americans isn’t exactly "free". Read the fine print. It’s essentially a loan. (And the government expects to be repaid).

Many people aren't aware of the disadvantages of 'free healthcare'. It comes with a price, literally.

Medicaid recipients over the age of 55 years of age are expected to 'repay the government for medical expenses' — and states will seize houses and other assets after those recipients die in order to satisfy the debt. Thank former President Bill Clinton.

**Bill Clinton signed the "Medicaid Estate Recovery Program" (MERP) into law as part of his deficit-reduction act in 1993. Previously, states had the right to seek repayment for Medicaid debts; that new law made it mandatory. In most states, it will not seize a home that is being occupied by a spouse and/or a dependent child of the late Medicaid recipient until they either die or move. It also offers waivers for financial hardship, and an “adult child caregiver” exemption for those who lived with a parent for at least two years and “provided care" that allowed the applicant to remain at home.

'Estate Recovery' punishes working and middle-class Americans who have managed to leave a little something to pass on to their children and or grand-children.

We were discussing this matter on GLP/godlikeproductions (where I've blogged & administrated for since 2007; the largest fastest moving aggregated news discussion forums). More in depth information is provided.

The clock starts ticking at age 55 if you're on Medicaid. The best way to protect yourself, your home and assets is to do an estate plan. Put your home in an irrevocable trust or a life estate. There is the infamous "5 year look back", so the earlier you do this the better. It is worth the money spent on legal fees to protect your home and assets.

FYI - Several months ago I was contacted by a man, who during the pandemic 'lock-down' in Pennsylvania, applied for unemployment, and Medicaid for himself and his wife. Nearly a year later, he decides to move to North Carolina. He puts his house up for sale. His realtor called him and informed him that he had a state 'lien' against his house deed. He was extremely befuddled, thinking that this was tax related, as he owed no taxes. He was referred to me. The first question I asked him was if he was on Medicaid. He contacted his county welfare office, and indeed the lien was in fact a Medicaid lien - for premiums! He & his wife claim they never even used it for any doctor appointments or prescriptions. There was absolutely nothing he could do to remove the lien other to continue with the sale of his house, but the states lien would have to be cured at the closing.

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I blog about socio-political issues. I'm retired, but my advocacy carries on with 2 local grassroots organizations.

Harrisburg, PA

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