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Estate Recovery under MassHealth

MassHealth has the right to get back money from the estates of certain MassHealth members after they die. In general, the money that must be repaid would include Medicare premiums paid by MassHealth for a member after the member turned age 55, and at any age while the member was permanently in a long-term-care facility. Effective with Medicare premiums paid on or after January 1, 2010, MassHealth will not recover premium payments made for members who were aged 55 or older at the time the premiums were paid.

There are also some additional protections and exceptions to this estate recovery rule. If a deceased member leaves behind a spouse, or a child who is blind, permanently and totally disabled, or younger than 21, MassHealth will not require repayment while any of these persons are still living. If real property, like a home, must be sold to get money to repay MassHealth, MassHealth, in limited circumstances, may decide that the estate does not need to repay MassHealth. Also, certain income, resources, and property of American Indians and Alaska Natives may be exempt from recovery.
For more information about estate recovery, see the MassHealth regulations at 130 CMR 515.000, and Chapter 118E of the Massachusetts General Laws.

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