Apr 21

Medicaid Applicant Received Proper Notice of Estate Recovery


A Michigan appeals court rules that a Medicaid recipient who was already enrolled in Medicaid received proper notice about the state’s right to estate recovery when the state provided notice in the recipient’s second application.  In re Estate of Keyes (Mich. Ct. App., No. 320420, April 16, 2015).

In 2007, Michigan amended its Medicaid law to include estate recovery, pending approval by the federal government. Esther Keyes entered a nursing home and began receiving Medicaid benefits in 2010. In 2011, the federal government approved the estate recovery plan. In 2012, Ms. Keyes submitted a Medicaid application that included a statement acknowledging that Ms. Keyes’ estate was subject to estate recovery. Ms. Keyes died, and the state sought recovery against her estate.

The estate argued that the state could not recover benefits because state law requires the state to notify a Medicaid recipient about the possibility of estate recovery at the time the recipient enrolls in Medicaid. The trial court ruled that the state did not notify Ms. Keyes at the time of enrollment and granted the estate summary judgment. The state appealed. 

The Michigan Court of Appeals reverses, holding the state properly notified Ms. Keyes that she was subject to estate recovery. According to the court, state law requires notice when the applicant seeks Medicaid benefits, not when the applicant enrolls. The court rules that because Ms. Keyes sought benefits in 2012 after receiving notification of the state’s right to estate recovery, the state provided proper notice.

For the full text of this decision, go to: http://publicdocs.courts.mi.gov:81/OPINIONS/FINAL/COA/20150416_C320420_38_320420.OPN.PDF