What Is Estate Recovery by MassHealth?

by: Brian E. Barreira, Esq.

Estate recovery is the process whereby MassHealth gets reimbursed for its expenditures on behalf of a MassHealth recipient.  In effect, MassHealth is a loan if the MassHealth recipient has any assets that are held in a form that can be attacked by MassHealth.  If there is a lien on a MassHealth recipient’s home and it is sold during the MassHealth recipient’s lifetime, MassHealth will assert a claim for reimbursement at the real estate closing.

All of the estate recovery claims occur after the MassHealth recipient’s death, and at present only against the deceased recipient’s probate estate.  (During the first two years of Mitt Romney’s term as Governor of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts legislature gave his administration unbridled power to change the Medicaid laws in Massachusetts and he expanded estate recovery greatly, but once the members of the legislature woke up and learned what they had voted for, they almost unanimously repealed the expanded estate recovery law).  

The federal law continues to give states the option to expand estate recovery laws, so it is possible that estate recovery will be expanded in Massachusetts in the near future.

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Comments

  • swo  On July 16, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    what happens if fiduciary refuses to reimburst estate recovery bill. what are the penaltys?

    • Brian E. Barreira  On July 8, 2013 at 2:17 pm

      The fiduciary is personally liable for failure to pay the legitimate debts of the estate.

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