If you are currently receiving Medi-Cal or are thinking or applying for Medi-Cal, you are probably wondering what is all the talk about the new Medi-Cal Recovery Laws. Generally, the new Medi-Cal Recovery laws apply to those who die on or after January 1, 2017. When a Medi-Cal recipient, dies the state can seek repayment for the cost of certain services received.

The law prior to January 1, 2017 has allowed claims on estates of those who received Medi-Cal benefits age 55 or older. The state of California sends the heirs an “estate recovery claim” asking for payment of Medi-Cal benefits paid on behalf of the decedent.

First, which Claims will be subject to recovery? Beneficiaries who were 55 or older when they received Medi-Cal benefits for nursing facilities and services, certain home and community based services and related prescription drugs and beneficiaries who were under age 55, if they are permanently institutionalized in a nursing facility and found that they cannot reasonably be expected to return home.

Now, thanks to the new recovery bill SB 33 and SB 833 that incorporated the new reform provisions, recovery has been severely restricted as follows:

  • PROHIBITS claims on the estate of surviving spouses and registered domestic partners
  • Limits recovery for those 55 years of age or older to nursing home and Home and Community Based Services
  • LIMITS recovery to only those assets subject to California PROBATE
  • Restricts the amount of interest that the state can charge on liens
  • Requires the state to waive the claim as a substantial hardship when the estate subject to recover is a homestead of modest value
  • Requires the state to provide a current or former beneficiary or their authorized representative a copy of the amount of Medi-Cal expenses that may be recoverable.

Please contact our office if you would like assistance in Medi-Cal Planning and Asset Protection. We at MMZ LAW understand that you’ve worked all your life to provide a safe environment for your loved ones. Please know that we are here to provide a safe environment for you. This, after all, is your LIFE and your LEGACY.

Please call (909) 256-6702 to discuss your questions and schedule a free consultation:
Trust and Estate, Elder Law, Special Needs, Conservatorship, Trust Administration and Probate in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange and San Diego counties. We offer flat, hourly and contingent fees, based on the type of matter.




341 W. 1st St. Suite 100
Claremont, CA 91711

MARIVEL M. ZIALCITA is the founder of MMZ LAW, A Professional Corporation, where she practices in the areas of Trust and Estate, Elder Law, Special Needs, Conservatorship, Trust Administration and Probate. Ms. Zialcita is a frequent speaker on trust and estate matters and holds memberships in the State Bar of California, Trust and Estate Section, The San Bernardino County Bar Association, Wealth Counsel and Elder Counsel. She currently assists in the pro bono legal services program at the James L. Brulte Senior Center in Rancho Cucamonga, California. She is based in Claremont and assists clients throughout Southern California.

This information is educational information only and not legal advice.