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2017 Changes in the Medi-Cal Recovery Laws Make More Estates Exempt

California SB 33 and SB 833 have severely restricted Medi-Cal estate recoveries of the estates of Medi-Cal recipients who die on or after January 1, 2017.
The new law:
• Prohibits claims on the estates of surviving spouses and registered domestic partners;
• Limits recovery for those 55 years of age or older to nursing home and home and community based services;
• Limits recovery to only those assets subject to California probate;
• Restricts the amount of interest that the state can charge on liens;
• Requires the state to waive the claim as a substantial hardship when the estate subject to recovery is a homestead of modest value, i.e., a home whose fair market value is 50 percent or less of the average price of homes in the county where the homestead is located; and
• Requires the state to provide a current or former beneficiary or their authorized representative a copy of the amount of Medi-Cal expenses that may be recoverable.