Update on Medi-Cal Recovery Reforms
The Medi-Cal recovery provisions of SB 33 (Hernandez), which were incorporated into SB 833, became effective January 1, 2017. While these new statutory changes give advocates plenty of reason to celebrate, there are some significant issues that have arisen in implementation of the new law.
- The recovery unit has clarified that there will be no recovery from surviving spouses or registered domestic partners on or after January 1, 2017 regardless of when the Medi-Cal spouse died.
- The Department has accepted the definition of probate estate at Probate Code §19000 accordingly: (g) “Probate estate” means a decedent’s estate subject to administration pursuant to Division 7 (commencing with Section 7000).
- Small Estates & Probate Code §13100 - The Department has also agreed that those estates that are eligible for summary administration ($150,000 or less) under the Provisions of Division 8 of the Probate Code (Disposition of Estate Without Administration) will not be subject to recovery. Thus, unless the estate is subject to formal probate administration, there will be no recovery.
- Probate Code §13050 includes a list of exclusions from probate or probate administration. This includes the exclusion of “any manufactured home, mobile home, commercial coach, truck camper or floating home registered under Part 2 (commencing with Section 18000) of Division 13 of the Health and Safety Code (manufactured homes). Basically, if the mobile home is registered with Housing and Community Development, it is exempt from inclusion under this section.
- Still outstanding – whether the Department can/will try to recover for all IHSS services, rather than just those personal care services provided under the Section 1915(c) waiver programs. Current California regulations at 22 CCR §50961(c) exempt payments made for personal care services provided under the IHSS program, but the Department is suggesting that they are permitted to expanding recovery for IHSS and that would impact all IHSS recipients who are 55 and over – estimated at over 400,000 IHSS consumers.