In case you didn’t already know, the U.S. federal government runs a social health care insurance program for low-income individuals and families who have difficulty affording the costs of health care. The program was designed to provide US citizens (or legal permanent residents) an insurance option for low-income parents, children, seniors and also those people who are disabled. It is the single largest provider of funding for medical services for people who’s income or resources keep them from otherwise affording health care.

Due to rising costs associated with funding and running Medicaid, as well as expansion of eligibility for the program, Congress implemented a new provision in 1993 that was designed to offset these costs. Often referred to as the “clawback” provision, it was created to recover the costs of Medicaid assistance for long-term care payed to an individual by pulling from the assets of that individual’s estate upon their death. This could be accomplished by placing a lien on the person’s home or through placing claims on their assets. Not only did this apply to long-term costs, but, in some cases, states are granted the ability to recover costs for medical costs of a more routine nature.

However, Medicaid reimbursement may not have to be a non-negotiable. There are steps that can be taken to protect your estate from this reimbursement and to keep your finances from being depleted or assets from being claimed. Timing is essential and it is best to get started on your planning as soon as you can.

Due to Washington state laws and their requirements for reimbursement of Medicaid issued funds up on the death of an individual, it is VITAL that you get an attorney involved as early in your Medicaid application process as possible. Your attorney should be trained in Elder Law to ensure they have the full understanding of options available to you.

You have an advocate in Dan Kellogg, who has spent years helping individuals with their Medicaid eligibility planning and asset protection. To schedule an appointment with our experienced team, contact us online or by calling (425) 227-8700.