Some Illinois residents who have recently signed up for Medicaid could have their estate’s assets seized after they die if they rack up big medical bills. A provision in the Medicaid law allows states to recover certain medical costs after a patient’s death by claiming their assets or placing liens on their home. While that has been part of the law for 20 years, it could be used more often thanks to the expanded eligibility for Medicaid.
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State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) claims people aren’t told about that possibility when they sign up. “This couple is probably unaware that if they have a medical claim, the state could come after their assets,” Dillard said. The expanded eligibility eliminated a previously required asset test, allowing those who have little in taxable income but may own large assets, to enroll. The state says it’s waiting on the federal government to clarify the law.