Planning for Life

Why Must Centenarian Resort to GoFundMe to Pay for Home Care?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on July 6, 2021

By Harry S. Margolis

The Boston Globe reported that Juliet Bernstein, a Cape Cod resident who turned 108 years old last Friday, has raised $72,000 on GoFundMe to pay for her home care. Since the article ran, she has raised another $50,000.

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Ms. Bernstein has had to resort to this source of funding because neither Medicare or MassHealth will pay for her care and her children don't have the means to contribute more than they have already. She has taken out home equity loans on her home and her oldest daughter, who is 80 years old herself, has taken out a reverse mortgage on her own home to help pay for her mother's care.

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Topics: MassHealth planning, MassHealth, home care, estate recovery

Let’s Clarify the MassHealth Notice Sent to All Members That is Causing Anxiety and Confusion

Posted by Patricia C. D'Agostino on June 23, 2021

MassHealth Planning - Margolis-and-Bloom-Patricia C. Dagostino

MassHealth recently sent this notice about estate recovery out to many beneficiaries. We anticipate the agency will send this notice to another batch of members at the beginning of July, we are receiving a lot of calls from clients asking what this means and so here is a brief summary.

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Topics: MassHealth planning, MassHealth, Estate Planning, MassHealth lien, estate recovery

End Estate Recovery Now!

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on May 27, 2021

By Harry S. Margolis

estate-recovery-Masshealth-MA-02481

As we've reported, MassHealth recently has loosened up its rules permitting hardship waivers from estate recovery. A move is now afoot to get rid of estate recovery entirely because it falls largely on those who can least afford it -- those who don't have the wherewithal or foresight to hire elder law attorneys to plan to avoid it's bite.

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Topics: estate recovery

MassHealth to Broaden Estate Recovery Hardship Exception

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on May 18, 2021

By Sarah G. Henry

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As of May 14, new MassHealth regulations have expanded the group of heirs who may be eligible for a hardship waiver from estate recovery. These regulations significantly expand what has been a draconianly narrow exception to estate recovery.

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Topics: estate recovery

Trust May Be Reformed to Avoid MassHealth Payback

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on April 29, 2021

By Harry S. Margolis

special-needs-trust-MassHealth-payback-Wellesley-MA-02481

A mistake many non-elder law and special needs practitioners made, especially early on, was to use so-called (d)(4)(A) trust forms for third-party special needs trusts. The problem with doing so is that it unnecessarily subjects any funds remaining upon the beneficiary's death to repayment to Medicaid (MassHealth in Massachusetts) for the cost of services covered.

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Topics: estate recovery, (d)(4)(A) trust

SJC Imposes Time Limit on MassHealth Estate Recovery

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on January 5, 2021

By Harry S. Margolis

MassHealth-estate-recovery-attorney-Wellesley-MA-02481

In an important case, the Supreme Judicial Court rules that MassHealth may not seek estate recovery against the estate of a beneficiary more than three years after her death. In the Matter of the Estate of Jacqueline Ann Kendall (SJC-12881, December 28, 2020) involves a claim by MassHealth for reimbursement of $104,738.23 it had paid for the care of Jacqueline Ann Kendall before she died on August 7, 2014.

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Topics: MassHealth, MassHealth lien, estate recovery

The Pernicious Unfairness of MassHealth Estate Recovery

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on November 26, 2019

By Harry S. Margolis

MassHealth-estate-recovery-planning-attorney-Wellesley-MA

Medicaid (MassHealth in Massachusetts) is health insurance for people who can't afford to buy private insurance. But its coverage is much broader than that of private health insurance, including coverage of long-term care costs, paying for nursing home care, and in some instances, for assisted living and home health care. To qualify, you must satisfy very complicated financial eligibility rules—rules that often can be traps for the unwary.

One of the most significant traps is Medicaid's right to recover its expenses from your estate after you die. Since about the only asset you're allowed to own and still get Medicaid coverage is your home, this right of estate recovery is the state's claim against your home. In other words, if you own a home, Medicaid is really a loan. It will pay for your care, but your house will have to be sold when you die to repay the state for the services it provided.

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Topics: estate recovery

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