Thursday, January 16, 2014

Obamacare goes after heirs for medical bills

Toss this into your succession-planning basket. Under Obamacare, there's a greater chance you could be held liable for your deceased parents' medical bills.

Reports Newsmax:
Millions of new enrollees are signing up for Medicaid due to its expansion under Obamacare, but many will be shocked to learn that their estates can be held liable for the costs of their healthcare.

As part of the 1993 budget reconciliation bill, Congress required states to implement the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program (MERP) to seek reimbursement of payments for nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

Obamacare, officially known as The Affordable Care Act, greatly expanded the services for which reimbursement can be pursued, and states can now use liens to recover money spent by Medicaid for services beyond long-term care.

States have discretion in how to implement the law, with some seeking to collect nearly all medical expenses.
So think about this. Your elderly parent falls a handful of times, pushes the MedicAlert button, gets taken to the emergency room to be checked over and racks up thousands of dollars in ambulance and hospital bills. He or she later dies, and all of the sudden you're being sued by the government for said thousands.

Mercy Medical Center is holding a seminar tonight on the new health care law, so perhaps someone will ask about this consequence of the law.

I won't be able to attend because we're going to the Tehama County Farm Bureau's 96th annual meeting in Corning. But perhaps another news organization will attend, and then we might see something that's been rare of late -- a locally generated story about the impacts of Obamacare.

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