2013 Changes to NC Medicaid Law

Elder Care

Last week House Bill 399 was ratified, creating changes to laws pertaining to Medicaid in North Carolina. The new legislation grants the NC Department of Health and Human Services “all rights available to estate creditors, including the right to qualify as personal representative or collector of an estate.” Here are three other changes included in the bill:
1. Medical assistance notification. In the past, personal representatives were required to send notification of the decedent’s outstanding debt. This notice must be made within 75 days after the receipt of a death notice. As part of the new law, these responsibilities have expanded. Notifications must also be sent to the Department of Health and Human Services as well as the Division of Medical Assistance if the decedent was receiving medical assistance at the time of their death.
2. Creditor classification. When settling debts during estate administration, creditors are paid in the order of their level of class. The new law clearly defines the Department of Health and Human Services as a sixth-class creditor. However, it also sets forth that the claims of all other sixth-class creditors shall be heard first before any claims are recovered by the Department of Health and Human Services.
3. Requirements of trustees. Another new requirement under the law pertains to trustees. Specifically trustees of revocable trusts. Trustees with knowledge of medical assistance administered at the time of the grantor’s death must disclose this information by notifying the Division of Medical Assistance and the Department of Health and Human Services within 90 days of the grantor’s death. (Preneed funeral trusts are exempt.)
If you’re concerned about how these new Medicaid laws affect the estate of a loved one who qualified for benefits late in life, contact a North Carolina elder law attorney. Whether you’re interested in adjusting care and updating an estate plan for an elderly relative, or if someone recently passed away and you need to understand the requirements under the new North Carolina Medicaid legislation, an elder law attorney can help.
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