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We have put a parent into assisted living after much medical due to falls. She has some properties that will be sold after death.

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If you mean Medicaid, they will bill her estate which is likely the properties you mention and maybe more. There's a five year "look back" on her assets, so if you sold her properties now and she lived more than five years, anything prior to that five year range would not count.

Different states have different laws, and I'm not an expert on this, so you may here from one of our Medicare/Medicaid experts. The advice I gave is very general but I did want your question answered.

Take care,
Carol
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Ellenjay, MERP was in place when my parents went on Medicaid in 2000. We were made aware of the MERP requirement at that time. It is unfortunate that no one explained this to you adequately. Your conclusion that her care is a "loan from Medicaid" is a great way to look at it.
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Medicaid Estate Recovery Program (MERP) will kick in if she is on Medicaid. The Executor of her Will is responsible for seeing all bills are paid from the assets of the estate.
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To help me further understand: Her bills for her nursing care are presently being covered by Medicaid but when she passes, her property is needed to pay back the government? So her care is basically a loan from Medicaid? Sorry to keep asking, but this is such a shock to all of us that we may have this gigantic bill for her care when a year ago, this probably would not have been true.
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Ellenjay, unless your state has filial responsibility laws, they do not come after your assets to pay mom's bills. They will have a claim or a lien on HER exempt assets though. If her assets are spent on her care, that's it though. An estate planner or eldercare attorney can advise in more detail. If reasonable, any appropriate legal consultation fee can be paid from Mom's assets as well adn you may find that very worthwhile. One way I have heard it explained is that Medicaid is not in the business of preserving inheritances for loved ones, just providing care for those without other resources. I was also told it didn't used to be this way, that houses were still passed down from generation to generation, either because Medicaid did not use to do estate recovery or because facility or home nursing care did not cost so much...so don't be too embarrassed about not knowing how it works now! My mom actually thought her Medicare and her "long term care policy" (more or less a scam...it paid some but after much wrangling and contact with the state insurance commission, with a ridiculously low cap) was all she would ever need. Their estate planning company was just not the best, but it was a lot better than nothing. I found better advice by getting with an eldercare attorney whose website indicated he knew what he was doing with our state's Medicaid rules.
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