How long after death must you wait to find out if Medicaid will take Mom's home to recover debt that was incurred in NH?

Follow
Share

In Georgia my mother was in nursing home for 3 years and passed away 6 months ago. I received a letter from Medicaid saying they would review and let me know if they would take her home for Medicaid recovery expense. I still have not heard back from them and it has been 6 months. Is there a time limit on how long they can make you wait on their decision?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
18

Answers

Show:
Pam - Hot can't as no will, she's not executrix, probate can't open. For TX, if no will then it's intestate death & escheats to the state. She'd have to establish lineal heirship.

Hot - probably, as the cutoff is 3K, I think. Here's my thoughts on all this for what it's worth: First, I'd go to the DADS MERP site to see what the exact figure is for how low it needs to be not to be cost effective for HMS (who is the outside contractor for TX & about 15 other states); second I'd look at the DADS MERP exemption list to see if you or other lineal heirs could qualify for any of those & pull together the items needed for that; third, if you have any exclusions for costs related to maintenance and upkeep on the empty property gather those up. If you do, then you fax or send a certified letter with RRM within 60 days to file for whatever categories seem to apply with documentation as a lineal heir. Each heir has to file their own specific exemption or exclusion & with documentation too. HMS reviews it and will likely decline all and informs you so by certified letter in about 60 days; so you then file an appeal within 60 days that DADS (not HMS) reviews. In this period of time, you need to get an attorney to work on the lineal heirship.

So you have gotten just the first letter, right? What is Medicaid paid amount? Letters from HMS seem to be generated about every 3 weeks. Its a debt collectors type of series of letters with an attachment on the tally paid and they can start 9% interest in 180 days. There is someone on this site who has their mom's home with assessor value of 30K and she has been going back & forth for almost a year to get it value adjusted with HMS as house needs a ton of work and won't sell for assessed value. So apparently there is room for negotiation.

Be sure to look at the date of the inside letter and the date on the outside postmarked envelope - there could be a time lag of several days or a week plus between the two and you want to note that on any correspondence you send as all this is very timeframe dependent. Again you need to respond with documentation one way or the other within 60 days initially.

So dad had no will? I'd really look for a will. If mom predeceased dad and probate was done, I'd get the filing on that from the courthouse as the same attorney likely drew up will. In theory, with no will the estate is considered intestate and as such all escheat to the state. I'm not sure how MERP works when all escheated to the state. I'd imagine the state assumes priority. Not the best position for heirs.

21K - for both land & improvements (house)? Pretty low. Geez, where is this? Could the property sell for 21K and any idea of the days on market (DOM) for other houses in the same area where it is?

So just how do you feel about the property? Do you live there so you need the house? Or other family? OR Is it a total pain in the butt and not worth ever dealing with or returning to? Could it be worth the time & cost to get it? Is house current on taxes, utilities? Do you have the funds to deal with house costs (taxes, insurance, utilities, etc) for whatever seems to be the DOM period and your attorney's fees? If you paid for things on the property, do you have the receipts or cancelled checks to be able to present as exclusions to HMS and then to present as verifiable deductions to the Medicaid tally? Would your investment of both time and $ for the house make sense? Could you get insurance? OR is there just something about the house that makes it worthwhile?

If you really want the house, the worst possible scenario would be you'd need 21K to pay to the state to get the property. The rest of the Medicaid debt is not your problem. If you do this, I'd suggest paying for an appraisal as it may be worth less than the tax assessor's value.

If you have no interest in the house and no costs to be reimbursed from it's sale, having the situation being that there is no will, could be a good thing. You tell HMS that there's no will and property is of no interest to you. Not your problem & not your debt. State will have to deal with all. Let us know what you decide to do and what the correspondence reads. We all learn from each other.

Also expect to get a letter from the tax assessor. They will want to know who the new owner is and their tax status. Letter will be sent to whichever address the October 2014 mailing went for taxes due in January, 2015. Your supposed to respond in 30 days. Texas allows 4 years for probate, so you should be able to have the house placed as "estate of" till new owner is determined. If you plan on keeping the property, make paying the taxes be a priority. Good luck and keep a sense of humor in all this.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

hotoiler, get an EIN# from the IRS and put all of Dad's assets there, including funds from the sale of the house/car/etc. look up Your Estate Under Texas Law (TX 96-127). You might want to talk to an estate attorney as well.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Igloo572 I am in Tx an my dad just passed. In a NH under Medicaid. His property is appraised at 21k. I'm only child with no will and today got the letter of intent. I have no exemption or hardships. My father told me to shut the house down an not pay anything an he would deal with it when he got well. Well he never got well an never left the NH. You seem very knowledgeable about this. Do you think they will come after this small estate?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Mch - Pennsylvania has HMS as the outside contractor for MERP. HMS seems to approach MERP much like what a debt collector does. HMS is very very good & have a sophisticated system to research debts. There doesn't seem to be a statute of limitations that i can find either so anything after PA signed off on MERP is fair game. Would be a date in 2005 or 2006.

BTW A different division does compliance and oversight for CMS.

Think of what debt collectors do: lots of letters, demand notices, notices that judgements can be done, etc. This is what is happening, isn't it?

My suggestion is to do 3 things:
1. You have to respond to the letters. State the facts as you know them - that moms estate was settled by probate court on XYZ date; that both Medicare & Medicaid accepted funds from the lawsuit settlement as full & final. As probate was closed, you are not responsible for any debts against the estate as that should have been presented in probate. As such there is no recoverable assets.
That you consider this matter closed and if they do not they need to respond to you in detail within 30 days. Keep this short & 1 page. You have to do this within the timeframe allowed as based in when you received the first letter.

You being on SS or handicapped isn't important, that it is NOT your debt is what is important. If your brother was executor, this should be his problem.

Send the letter certified mail AND with return registered receipt card ( the green post card ) from uspo. This will run under $10.00 & will be the best 10 you have spent ever! You HAVE to mail it this way to create a legal paper trail.

2. If you don't have all the lawsuit paperwork and probate paperwork, you need to get those. You do this after #1 is done & mailed. Probate is easy as you can probably go on-line to your county courthouse and for a small fee get them as a download; or you drive down there & pay to get them either then & there or they mail it. Take cash as many courthouses don't take checks or do a hefty surcharge on credit cards. If you go, the courthouse is best about 9:30/10 AM as court in sessions and less busy. take a valid ID, dress nice & conservatively and if you own property take your last tax assessor form so they know you are a taxpayer & member of the community. The ladies that staff the courthouse can be quite helpful.

Lawsuit stuff - old attorney should have this. They can charge you a research fee and copy fee for all this too. Now it may be filed at the courthouse (this kinda depends on how your state does lawsuits) so ask the ladies at the courthouse. If so, again you pay a fee for this but will be less than the research fee the law firm could charge you.

You may not need those, but you need to have them ready to refer to. It is worth spend $20-30 to have them.

3. Now you will get the RRR ( the green postcard) mailed back to you It will have date received put in along with a signature. Could be a actual signature or a stamp signature. As to what next depends on their response.

3a- Now if 30 days from the date on the card you get nothing from MERP, then you send another certified RRR letter stating something like: you have not heard back from them so you consider this issue closed.

OR
3b - they send a demand letter with specifics. Then you need an attorney.

You could have an attorney do all of this but really step 1 & 2 & 3a you can do. If you do nothing, you may find that MERP can do whatever by default. It's like not responding to a debt collector letter in 30 days. if you do nothing, you are basically agreeing that whatever is in the letter is accurate. Good luck & get on all this ASAP.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

no my mom had nothing and when money was taken out for medicare and Medicaid they said it would be closed.I live in Pennsylvania and my mothers name was never on my home I bought my own home.I LIVE ON A SMALL SOCIAL SECURITY CHECK AND DISABLED.HER HOME WAS SOLD BY MY BROTHER YEARS AGO SHE JUST HAD A SMALL CHECK AND PENSION.I was told I should be declared a hardship but this is 8 years after all was to be settled now wanting to put a judgement I am so upset ty so much for writing any help please let me know ty MC
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Mch - what state are you in? this is going to explain who is doing this.

Jeanne is spot on that you need to review the settlement documents from the law suit. Was it a "full & final" for both Medicare & Medicaid?

Was your home ever in moms name and became yours after she died?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

yes I have the papers where they settled to medicare and Medicaid ty for your answer any or all info is greatly appreciated
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Can you contact the law firm that negotiated the deal with Medicaid, or do you perhaps have copies of the documents from that time? If Medicaid settled for a certain amount, it is settled (or so I would think). Do they just need to be reminded of this?

I am truly sorry for all the grief and aggravation you have experienced.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

my mother died to nursing home letting her fall and then sat her in a chair for a week setting in a mess having a bed sore so big it ate into the bone and she died of septic shock.I took a personal lawsuit out against them;and hired attorneys so we won the case and the judge made the decision.so the atty got 285,000 and he ordered that medicare would get 1200 and Medicaid 10,000 which they negotiated and came to a smaller settlement.I ended up with 95,000 and I paid a probate atty 15,000 funeral all the things that needed paid.My mother had nothing when she died nothing so after allpaid out there was 20,000 left and this has been 8 years ago im on a small social security check and now Medicaid wants to know where that 20,000 went 8 years later threatning to put a judgement on my home and maybe have me arrested;this is my money I had left out of the settlement so in 8yrs I don't know where it all went;please tell me whats going on.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

All I know is that the wheels of government turn Very slowly.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions