In Minnesota, our Medicaid program is called Medical Assistance (MA) and covers over 700,000 low-income individuals including children, pregnant women, and adults. It also covers those over 65 and individuals with disabilities. Eligibility for the program is determined based on income and assets, household size, age, and pregnancy or disability. The program is funded through a combination of state and federal funds and is administered by locations in each county.
To qualify for MA, you need to be a Minnesota resident and either a US citizen or a qualifying non-citizen. You can combine MA coverage with other insurance and it often steps in when other insurance, such as Medicare coverage, runs out. Older individuals who find themselves in long term care unexpectedly may not be prepared to navigate the MA system or understand the possible liabilities of doing so.
While all this seems straight-forward, the healthcare industry is complicated and it helps to have an experienced advocate with you when navigating doctor visits, hospital stays, rehabilitation facilities, and drug prescriptions. This is especially true for older citizens who may be faced with spenddown requirements or other provisions in order to qualify for MA. Setting up your income and estate to preserve assets while making elder citizens and those with disabilities eligible for MA is somewhere an experience attorney can help.
Minnesota’s Department of Human Services can recover costs paid under the MA program through placing liens and through estate recovery. The laws on this were changed in 2016, so it is important to seek legal advice to see if you and your estate will be affected by the changes. Further, if you used services from MA before the law changes, you may find your assets subject to liens to recover funds.
Individuals who permanently reside in a medical institution or those over 55 who received services that can be recovered from an estate are subject to the filing of liens. These liens are placed against real property (real estate) that a person owns or that is part of their estate. The recent law changes reduce the services for which the MA can file a lien or notice of potential claim (NPC). If you receive MA services, with the exemption of long term services, and you’re older than 55, then those services are no longer eligible for recovery by the MA.
For help navigating the tricky waters of estate planning, wealth preservation, health insurance, and planning, reach out to the attorneys at Virtus Law Firm by calling 612.888.1000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help you understand how the law affects you or your loved ones and help you find the best course of action to handle MA liens or NPCs.