Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Families Accuse Medicaid of Attempting to Claim Dead People’s Homes for Payment

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Families Accuse Medicaid of Attempting to Claim Dead People’s Homes for Payment
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Families Accuse Medicaid of Attempting to Claim Dead People’s Homes for Payment

Source: Pinterest

Many Americans turn to Medicaid to cover their health bills or those of their loved ones when they cannot afford it. However, most people do not know that they could lose their assets, majorly homes if they are unable to repay the government organization.

What Is Medicaid?

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Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that covers medical costs for people who have limited income and resources. The government put it in place to help those who are struggling but also in need of expensive medical care. While the federal government has general rules that all state Medicaid programs must follow, each state runs its own program

The Shocking Medicaid Recovery Procedure

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Since it is a tax-funded program, Medicaid has a strict repayment policy. There are many plans available, and people are allowed to choose which suits them best.
However, most Americans are unaware that their fee recovery procedure allows the federal government to repossess a family home to pay off medical bills should a loved one die.

Medicaid Is Entitled to Repossess American Homes

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One of the general rules by the federal government states that each state should attempt to recover the cost of care from deceased patients through their assets.
More often than not, family homes are exempt from this. However, if the deceased family member is over 55 years old, Medicaid can sue for the home to cover the outstanding costs.

A Young American Fights Against Medicaid

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Sandy LoGrande, a young American woman, found herself battling Medicaid for her family home after her father died. He battled cancer, and they sought help from the program to pay his bills.
Sadly, not long after his passing, Medicaid billed her over $177,000. According to Fox News, this was the beginning of a lengthy legal battle for her.

Medicaid Sued Massachusetts Resident

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The Massachusetts resident could not afford to pay back her father’s outstanding bills. Therefore, the health program threatened to repossess her father’s home. “The home was everything,” LoGrande told The New York Post.
Therefore, she decided to take a stand and fight for her family’s house.

Long Legal Battle with the State

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LoGrande fought a legal battle with Medicaid and the state of Massachusetts for two whole years. It was a long and tiring period where she only hoped to win.
She also mentioned that she would not have gone for this option if she wasn’t desperate to find a way to save her father. A nonprofit group suggested that she sign him up for Medicaid.

Potential to Lose Family Homes to Medicaid

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According to the young daughter, when she asked the group about the potential of losing their family home before signing up. However, they assured her that this could only happen if they placed her father in a nursing home.
She told Fox News, “He never would have signed on with anything that would put his home in jeopardy.”

The Harsh Reality for Many Americans

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After a lot of legal back-and-forth, the state finally reached a settlement with LoGrande. They also removed their claim on her family home.
However, many people are not so lucky. Some do not have the willpower to fight for two long years and have to lose their homes. This is the harsh reality of many Americans who use the program.

New York and Ohio Claim Over $100 Million in Homes

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Cases like LoGrande’s caused the Dayton Daily News to launch an investigation across many states. They found that states like New York and Ohio have recovered over $100 million in Medicaid costs by repossessing the homes of thousands of deceased people.
However, states like Arizona and Alaska have only attempted to claim a deceased person’s home a few times over the years.

Lawmaker Calls Program Cruel

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Democratic lawmaker Jan Schakowsky believes that the program is “cruel.” During a speech in March, she argued that many Americans do not even know that they could potentially lose their homes if they cannot afford the Medicaid bills.
Therefore, the lawmaker believes that the government should stop Medicaid from claiming people’s homes to pay off their medical bills.

The Program 'Doesn't Work for Anybody'

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Schakowsky also spoke to The Associated Press regarding this issue. She reiterated that the program is cruel and also quite ineffective.
“It is one of the most cruel, ineffective programs that we see,” Schakowsky told the AP, via Fortune. “This is a program that doesn’t work for anybody.”

Possible Change for the Future

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As many people continue to complain and point out this ruling, it is possible that the government might do something about it. This will involve the reversal of the 1993 rule that requires states to use the deceased’s assets, such as estates, to cover costs.
They could also make the law optional for some states in the future, which would help many people.