Medi-Cal Will Probably Ask For Their Money Back

Since 1993, Medi-Cal has been able to make claims against a person’s “expanded estate,” which includes a decedent’s individual assets, as well as those assets that were held in joint tenancy or in revocable trusts.

If the Medi-Cal recipient was survived by his or her spouse, Medi-Cal will not be able to make a claim against the decedent’s estate until the death if the surviving spouse. When Medi-Cal is able to make this claim, the heirs of the decedent will receive a letter from the Department of Health Care Services Recovery Section, which will essentially demand that the heir return the money that Medi-Cal spent on the decedent.

The claim will be limited either by the greater of the value of the services provided by Medi-Cal to the decedent, or the value of the decedent’s assets at the time of his or her death. There are certain exceptions. For instance, if a decedent has a minor, blind, or disabled child, Medi-Cal cannot recover anything against his or her estate. Medi-Cal may further grant hardship exceptions at their discretion.

If you are concerned about the effect of a Medi-Cal claim on your estate or the estate of a loved one, contact an estate planning attorney.

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