posted November 1, 2012
In certain cases, Massachusetts is entitled to make a claim for costs of a nursing facility or other long-term care services from the estates of MassHealth recipients at death – often including the former residence. An exemption from “estate recovery” applies if, among other requirements, the MassHealth recipient had long-term care insurance meeting certain standards. Until a law change on October 27, 2012, to qualify for the exemption the individual must have had, "at the time of nursing home admission," at least two years of coverage at a minimum of $125 per day. Under the amendment, the policy will qualify as long as it meets these minimum standards only "when purchased." Under the old law, people risked loss of the exemption by making claims under the policy for care at home or in other community settings. Under the new law, people will be able to make claims for home- and community-based care based solely on their needs, without holding back to protect the exemption. This is plainly a change for the better, and will help many achieve their goal of being cared for at home for as long as possible.
Other requirements for the exemption apply, including some relating to the MassHealth application, itself. Consult an elder law attorney.
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