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Are you or a loved one receiving Medicaid benefits from the State of Nebraska? If so, it is important to understand how Medicaid Estate Recovery in Nebraska works.
So, what exactly is Medicaid Estate Recovery? This program was established by State and Federal law to recover Medicaid assistance from former recipients upon their passing. When a former Medicaid recipient dies, the Department of Health and Human Resources’ (“DHHS”) Nebraska Medicaid Program works with families, courts, and attorneys to recover funds. It is quite common for an individual to have assets and resources they overlooked when they initially applied for Medicaid. Estate Recovery reviews the available assets, liabilities, and other pertinent information to decide what may be subject to recovery by Medicaid.
Any individual who received assistance from the Nebraska Medicaid Program and who was over the age of 55 may be affected by Estate Recovery. However, there are some exemptions. DHHS can not collect from the following individuals: (1) a Medicaid recipient under the age of 55; or (2) a deceased Medicaid recipient who is survived by a spouse, a child under 21 years old, or a dependent who is blind or permanently disabled, regardless of their age. In addition, DHHS may not recover funds from a former Medicaid recipient’s estate if it determines that doing so would cause the heirs undue hardship. The heirs can ask DHHS to waive or adjust based on the circumstances.
When a former Nebraska Medicaid recipient passes away, DHHS will receive a notice of death. Upon receiving this, DHHS will send an “Asset Form for Non-Probated Estates” to the decedent’s designated contact person. The contact person, family, and/or attorney will need to fill out the form in its entirety and return to DHHS (this form can also be found on the DHHS website). Then, this information will be reviewed, and DHHS will evaluate a recovery amount, if any. According to the DHHS website, it is not imperative that this process happen immediately after your loved one passes away, but we recommend completing this process as soon as possible.
For assistance with estate planning and navigating Medicaid Estate Recovery, contact Berkshire & Burmeister’s highly knowledgeable and skilled estate planning attorneys.