What do I owe to HMS when there is no property and $2500 life insurance and little money left from my grandmother's death?

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She lived her last five years in a nursing home and they got all but $60 dollars per month of her income. She had no property, about $1000 in her nursing home trust fund and $2500 in life insurance.
They asked for a form and I indicated that there was nothing and no one left but me. Now they send a letter wanting $142, 000 in recovery. Am I responsible for that?

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These letters are computer-generated monthly. ARRRRGGGGHH!
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Well the claim/letter that they mailed back says their findings are :
No undue hardships exist and recovery would be cost effective.
I like the FAX idea as apposed to calling; paper trail is better.
Thank you for all your time and trouble in answering my question.
You are too kind!!! :)
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Phadra - thanks, I bet the issue is this, you posted that the letter you sent back to them reads: "No undue hardship exists and recovery will be cost effective."

That is NOT the case for your aunt. The recovery is NOT cost effective.

If there are no probateable assets, then there is nothing to recover so it is not cost effective. If auntie had no assets after death (home, land, car or insurance policy that specifically had her estate has the beneficiary), then there are no assets. If the life insurance policy named you as the beneficiary, then it falls outside of probate for an asset. In theory if this is the case, no need for probate. Personally, I favor the idea of doing probate as it cleanly and clearly establishes the deceased estate (or non-estate) situation but probate does have costs. TX allows for probate to be open for 4 years too, so there is no need to rush as you want to be very exact and complete if you do probate.

I would send a certified letter with the return receipt (the green card) detailing all this and mail it to both MERP and the TxDADS address. If you fax it, that works too as faxes are legal, but you want to fax it from like a FedEx/Kinko's store where you get a transmission report as to the date & time the fax was received. MERP/HMS Texas Fax: 214-560-3918

Should they press on all this and you find you have to open probate (I'm assuming auntie had a will and you were named the executrix in the will), you can file your own claim against the estate for whatever you paid for her funeral & burial. Also if you pay for probate costs, that too is a claim. Those are Class 1 & 2 claims and paid before the other classes too. TX is a level of claim state for distribution for probate. MERP is a class 7 claim. BTW, credit card debt is a class 8 claim, those are usually totally out of luck in ever being paid unless it's a bigger estate.

When all this is settled, you want to make sure you get MERP Certification and Authorization Form – Revised July 2013. You can google what this form looks like too. Good luck and let us know what happens.
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Contact them and tell them exactly what you've told us here. Keep notes, take names. Doesn't sound like there's anything to recover, and YOU are not personally responsible.
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Hi Igloo572 - thank you for your time to respond to my question. The letter is a MERP claim and says:
HMS sent a notice with intent to file against the estate. I answered and sent it back;
no property, no spouse, no children, no unmarried adult residing continuously ...
No undue hardship exists and recovery will be cost effective. Enclosed is summary of services... explaining balance and interest. Checks should be made payable to the Tx DADS and mailed ...
Looking at it again, it appears that they think she has an estate (property?) that is worth something. To my knowledge that is completely incorrect. Now ... did Nanny have something somewhere that I don't know about? It is highly unlikely, but not impossible.
I did get the life insurance, but I was designated as the sole beneficiary and it was used for burial purposes. The money in her nursing home trust fund was just under $1000 and I used that to offset some of the expenses of the burial too.
Of course, that didn't cover everything but I personally covered the rest.
She had no home or land or anything left of value when she passed away, but the letter makes it seem as though I should just make out a check for the $140.977.46 and mail it right away or interest will be charged at 9.25% after 180 days.
With the salary I make; it would take five years worth of every cent I make to pay this back ..... and that's BEFORE taxes.
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What you are dealing with is MERP - Medicaid Estate Recovery Program and for the state of TX it is subcontracted out to HMS. HMS has a specific division that does MERP for at least a dz. states.

Now the letter that you got, what did it say?
Was it a Notice of Intent to File a Claim letter, or was it another type of letter?
Who did it come from? was it TXDHHS, or TXDADS or from MERP? TxDHHS = TX Dept of Health & Human Services and they are the state agency for Medicaid but the day to day management or administration of Medicaid is done by TxDADS = TX Dept of Aging & Disability Services; and then MERP is done for them under a contract by HMS.

Can you do another post with the details within the letter??

The 142K is the total the state spent on your mom which Medicaid paid for. If she was in a NH, that probably was for 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 years of a NH stay (Medicaid pays about $ 145.00 a day room & board reimbursement for a NH stay) depending on how much above the R&B costs she had (like PT, OT) and her medications. If the amount seems incorrect, you can ask for a detailed report on Medicaid payments.

You are not personally responsible for paying the 142K but if her estate has any assets (like a home, or insurance or land, etc) then those are due to the state IF there are not any exemptions, exclusions or hardships filed to offset or set aside the MERP claim. So if you took the life insurance policy $ who had her estate as the beneficiary, that would be a problem for you. Or if you sold or transferred her home (and there was no Enhanced Benefit Deed / lady bird deed), then that would be a problem for you & for whomever it got sold or transferred to.

So what does the letter say?
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I must add that I live in Texas and she did too.
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