Medicare Estate Planning: Medicaid Costs

Medicaid recipients with assets may owe back medical costs

by Amy De Vore+ on Jan 04, 2014 | 2 Comments

Medicare estate planning is important to do regardless if you have moderate income or assets, especially if you are considering accepting Medicaid to help pay for your Medicare bills.

Medicare and Medicaid

Medicaid helps many seniors pay for out of pocket Medicare medical costs. Seems like a good deal, right? Well, it might not be. Your state can seize the home and assets of your loved one once they are deceased. This is called Medicaid Estate Recovery.

Services That Medicaid Can Recoup Costs

These are the Medicare service costs Medicaid can recoup, according to Health and Human Services:

  • Nursing home services
  • 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,” HHS.

How a Senior Protects Their Assets

There are a few ways to protect yourself or a family member from having their assets taken rather than use Medicaid:

  • Long Term Care insurance plan purchased while still healthy in order to keep cost down
  • Medicare Advantage may help lower the monthly costs, as well as help with extras like dental and vision
  • Medigap plan helps to fill in the gaps of Medicare

While LTC and Medigap plans may have a higher monthly premium than a Medicare Advantage plan, if you are able to help pay for your loved one’s premium it could end up saving you tens of thousands of dollars in the end.

For further questions about how the Medicare Advantage or a Medigap call the number above or click here to get a Medicare Insurance quote.

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Reader Comments and Questions

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By ramona on October 23, 2015

while reading thru the information on your wed site you mention medicare and medicaid together but dont say how or if the medicaid pay for hearing aids

It will depend on the state you live in and the type of Medicaid coverage you have, if Medicaid will cover hearing aids. You'll want to contact your Medicaid provider and ask them what type of hearing coverage they offer, if at all. Hope this helps!
-Amy from

By ruth on June 16, 2015

My 65 year old mother needs hearing aids. Dr. gave her a hearing test and wrote out test resaults, they told her she needs hearing aids. does her Medicare and medicaid pay for the hearing aids.

Unfortunately, Medicare doesn’t cover hearing aids, however it may cover diagnostic tests. There are stand-alone hearing plans available, and there are some Medicare Advantage plans that cover hearing. Hope this helps.
-Jacima from

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