So, the feds have created a situation where you can lose the coverage you could afford, can’t afford the replacement plans, and are forced into Medicaid which will allow the state to come after your assets when you die. – Herman Cain
Remember how Obamacare is pushing millions into Medicaid who hadn’t known that they qualified? To get a real feel for how this works, remember the story of an elderly woman whose plan was taken away from her so that she was forced into Medicaid against her will. In fact, in my original post I didn’t quote one part of that story (which is now stuck behind a pay wall) that makes it all a little creepier. Her daughter says she went on the website with her mother in order to try to find some other option. I think they may have still been considering simply opting out if there was no other insurer available. But in the course of going through the confusing exchange, they got signed up before they realized what was happening. The woman was no officially enrolled in Medicaid even though she didn’t want to be.
And this means the government can now come after her estate when she dies.
From the New American:
Sofia Prins and Gary Balhorn were about to sign applications for free coverage under Washington State’s Medicaid program — recently expanded under ObamaCare — when Sofia began reading the fine print: If you’re over age 55, the state of Washington will bill your estate for your health expenses when you die.
So much for “free.”
Happily for Prins and Balhorn, they discovered about the only case for Obamacare that doesn’t involve a marriage penalty. They got married so that their combined income lets them buy insurance on the exchanges rather than have to lose the right to leave an inheritance.
What is most creepy about this situation is that most people aren’t even aware of it. If your parents are a property owners who are caught in a medical emergency then you can be in for a nasty surprise. The New American article sites this blog:
When John came back from Korea he took over working the family farm. Eventually, John and his wife Mary inherited the farm from John’s parents. John and Mary were always “dirt poor.”
In 2000 Mary’s health began to decline due to Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Everyone in the family pitched in to care for Mary and keep her home. In 2003, after 3 years of struggle, the family needed some outside help. They applied for home care that was paid for in part by Medicaid. This extra help, combined with the ongoing care by John and the boys and their wives, allowed Mary to stay at home for another full year.
In 2006 John died of a heart attack. Without John’s support in caring for Mary, the family was no longer able to care for Mary at home. She moved to a local nursing facility. The family didn’t have the cash to fully afford the nearly $8,000 a month cost and Medicaid benefits were needed.
Mary died in January 2009. She was 84. Three weeks later her sons received a letter in the mail from the Government. The letter said Pennsylvania was owed $171,386 for the Medicaid that was provided for Mary’s care, both at home and in the nursing facility.
The boys are going to have to find some way to pay off this state lien. But they don’t have this kind of money. Most likely, the farm will have to be sold.
The New American includes other examples. Play back all the rhetoric that has been used to demonize the free market (supposedly) for not giving people affordable medical care. It is still happening. Except the state basically can’t be prosecuted for a fraudulent bait and switch.
Here are the relevant Medicaid rules:
Highlights of the 1993 Estate Recovery Mandate: from www.hhs.gov
- States must pursue recovering costs for medical assistance consisting of:
- Nursing home or other long-term institutional services;
- Home- and community-based services;
- Hospital and prescription drug services provided while the recipient was receiving nursing facility or home- and community-based services;
- At State option, any other items covered by the Medicaid State Plan.
- At a minimum, states must recover from assets that pass through probate (which is governed by state law). At a maximum, states may recover any assets of the deceased recipient.
So of all those people who have been forced into Medicaid, how many do you think were apprised of this liability? Obamacare truly is “taking ownership of the poor.”