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View Diary: The Medicaid millions—enrollees, that is (39 comments)

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  •  Check regs on medicaid asset repo after your (0+ / 0-)


    For many who now qualify for medicaid, the asset "relief" under ACA sounds good, and if you need medicaid now it may be your only choice. However, upon death, the State must seek reimbursement by going after your assets such as your home. Not good news for the kids and it insures that any financial help they were expecting upon your death may be sucked up, up and away into the maws of the government.

    It wasn’t the moonlight, holiday-season euphoria or family pressure that made Sofia Prins and Gary Balhorn, both 62, suddenly decide to get married.

    It was the fine print.

    As fine print is wont to do, it had buried itself in a long form — Balhorn’s application for free health insurance through the expanded state Medicaid program. As the paperwork lay on the dining-room table in Port Townsend, Prins began reading.

    She was shocked: If you’re 55 or over, Medicaid can come back after you’re dead and bill your estate for ordinary health-care expenses.

    The way Prins saw it, that meant health insurance via Medicaid is hardly “free” for Washington residents 55 or older. It’s a loan, one whose payback requirements aren’t well advertised. And it penalizes people who, despite having a low income, have managed to keep a home or some savings they hope to pass to heirs, Prins said.

    •  Paying back Medicare/Medicaid is not because (3+ / 0-)

      of Obamacare.  This has been on the books since 1993.

      "Congress passed an omnibus budget bill that required states to recover the expense of long-term care and related costs for deceased Medicaid recipients 55 or older. The 1993 federal law also gave states the option to recover all other Medicaid expenses.

      The Affordable Care Act did nothing to change existing federal law. It did, however, expand the number of people who are eligible for Medicaid, so there will be more people on Medicaid between the ages of 55 and 65, and, therefore, potentially more estates on the hook for Medicaid expenses after the beneficiary dies."

      source:  January 10, 2014

      •  yes. True. However, asset regs have been loosened (0+ / 0-)

        to allow the expansion under the ACA. The net result will be a massive house cleaning of assets from deceased middle class and poor who were "house rich" and income poor. That will help insure their children have an even more difficult time staying afloat.

        Surely you didn't think was an accident?

        Surely you aren't under the impression that the kind, compassionate for profit health INSURANCE industry wrote and lobbied a bill through congress that would reduce their profits?

        Everybody on wall st. loves the law.

        This isn't rocket science. It is pure cold hearted capitalism with sugar on top.

        •  Medicare/Medicaid is financed primarily (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JuliathePoet, kfunk937

          by the government and the state in which you live.  When someone has to enter long-term care and can't pay for it, when their assets  are depleted, Medicaid chips in.

          Depending upon how long you remain in care iwhat your insurance company pays (if anything), won't be enough.It is your government and state that essentially foots the bill; they need to be reimbursed.  This is taxpayers money.

          Now, I agree with you, this is a sad state of affairs for too many.  Long Term care is very expensive.  Not everyone can afford to take out a policy.  Most of us just hope it won't be in the cards.

          The positive is that people will get the end-of-life care they need, the negative is that it is not free, the piper must be paid.

          My brother was in this situation.  He had no assets to pay for his hospice care at the end of his life, he had Medicare, but that doesn't pay for long term nursing care.  He had to go on Medi-Cal (Medicaid in Califortnia).  He was cared for until the end which came, lucky for him, 3 months later.  

          The only way to pay for long term care would be if we went to a entirely socialist form of health care.  Higher taxes for everyone, but care from cradle to the grave.  

          Perhaps one day we will, but at this time in our history and because of our culture, a health care system which includes insurance companies will exist.  At least the ACA now regulates them so they can't screw us the way they did before Obamacare.

        •  Agree with Artmrss Medicaid has nothing to do with (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JuliathePoet, kfunk937

          insurance companies. Whether these rules are fair or not, the fact is that state is giving free medical care and they want to re-coup their costs somehow. But it only applies for people older than 55.

          I do not think that Medicaid is an ideal solution but it is the best thing for now for those who cannot afford insurance. A single payer system would probably be better all-around.

    •  Can't you just declare more income? (0+ / 0-)

      For many people getting medicaid, an income just a few hundred or a few thousand dollars more would mean they could qualify for a subsidy that makes exchange insurance almost free. Many people have a little cash side work that is not declared--babysitting, selling on ebay, a craft fair,  a couple yard sales,  helping some friends move, etc. Just declare it. At the limit  to get from medicaid to private insurance, income is so low that you are unlikely to owe additional tax and if you do, an extra $100 to keep your house is worth it.

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