I’m sure you’ve heard of Medicaid – or is it Medicare? It’s easy to confuse them.
Medicare is health insurance for senior citizens who have worked and paid into their Medicare during their careers. If you are employed, your paycheck is reduced a bit each time and put towards your Medicare.
Medicaid is basically health insurance for people who fall below certain income and asset levels. If a person applies and successfully secures Medicaid coverage, then receives health care services (doctor visits, hospital visits, nursing home care), Medicaid will likely pick up the tab.
That doesn’t mean it’s FREE!
What the heck does this have to do with Florida Probate?
Medicaid is a “class 3” creditor. If you are going to move forward with probate in Florida, it is important to find out if the decedent ever applied for or received Medicaid benefits.
Not only will Medicaid file a claim, but Florida Statutes require that a petitioner or personal representative of an estate put Medicaid (Agency for Health Care Administration) directly on notice, if the decedent was 55 or older.
So if Medicaid files a claim against the estate, it will be a priority creditor and will be satisfied before all lower class claims (credit cards, etc.)
Does that mean you’ll lose mom’s house to a $100,000 Medicaid claim.
Nope. A person’s homestead is protected from creditors – including Medicaid.
Does that mean mom’s $2,000 checking account is at risk?
Maybe. There are other ways to recapture certain assets.
You see, there’s a pecking order on who gets paid first. There are ways to properly exempt assets before creditors swoop in and take them all. (It’s a rather long list, but it’s worth chatting about. )