Monday, September 30, 2013

Urgent ObamaCare Warning for Lower Income Folks 55 and Over

Attention lower-income adults 55+ in the USA - you may be forced onto Medicaid under ObamaCare! That’s right - if you're uninsured and your income qualifies you for Medicaid, you don’t have a choice.

Health care at no cost to you – what’s not to like? Well, it’s called estate recovery. And if you end up a member of a managed care organization it’s even worse. And where I live, everyone on Medicaid is managed by Partnership HealthPlan, which is a managed care organization that administers California’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal, in some counties.

Well, here’s a little tidbit from Partnership HealthPlan’s Member Handbook, page 18, “The State of California must seek repayment of Medi-Cal benefits from the estate of a deceased Medi-Cal beneficiary for services received on or after the beneficiary’s 55th birthday. For Medi-Cal beneficiaries enrolled (either voluntarily or mandatorily) in a managed care organization, the State must seek recovery of the total premium/capitation payments for the period of time they were enrolled in the managed care organization. Additionally, any other payments made for services provided by non-managed care providers will also be recovered from the estate.”

If you’re going to die with nothing, I guess this doesn’t affect you. If you’ve worked and saved to amass a few assets to leave to your kids despite the fact that your income happens to be under 138% of the federal poverty level, you’re screwed. Well, I guess technically it’s your kids that are screwed.

But don’t take my word for it. I’m no expert and it would be nice if someone could prove all my research has been in error. Just do a Google search for ‘Medicaid estate recovery’ and see what you find. But be sure to dig deep and also find what the rules are in your state – some just recover for long-term care as required by the feds while others (like California) recover for everything. And be sure not to confuse Medicaid with Medicare, which currently isn’t part of the estate recovery scene.

Bottom line is that if you are 55 or over and get signed up for Medicaid, whether voluntarily or not, you are agreeing to your state recovering anything spent on your behalf through the program. Even if you NEVER use Medicaid one time, if you're a member of a managed care organization, you will be accruing indebtedness to the state each month (through capitation payments for your managed care) that may be recovered from your estate. So before you apply for your mandatory ObamaCare, you’d best be figuring out whether you’re going to be forced onto Medicaid and what your long-term consequences are.

So...what's your plan for dealing with ObamaCare?

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