June 16, 2016
California’s SB 33 passes State Budget to include $30 million to limit Medi-Cal estate recovery only to that required by federal law.
The federal government requires that states recover money for nursing home care. But it also gives states the option to recover costs of general medical care — hospitalizations and doctors visits — for people 55 and over. Since 1993, when Governor Pete Wilson adopted the “estate recovery program,” Medi-Cal recipients, low-income seniors, risked having their homes and other modest savings seized after their death.
Pat McGinniss, executive director of California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, said: “Instead of destabilizing low-income communities, [SB 33] allows people to not worry about losing everything if they go on Medi-Cal.”
For three years, California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform had backed the effort to limit the scope of California’s estate recovery. Under the new budget, Medi-Cal estate recovery is limited to that required by federal law (for people who receive nursing home care paid for by Medi-Cal.)
The law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2017.