Medicaid Estate Recovery Program FAQs

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The MERP Receipt and Acknowledgement Form (Form 8001) is used to explain estate recovery and how it might affect you. §You are asked for a signature to show the state explained MERP to you or your representative. If you don’t sign the form you can still get services. But just because you don’t sign the form does not make your estate exempt from recovery.

An estate as it relates to estate recovery is the real and personal property of a deceased Medicaid recipient that is subject to probate. Real property may include a home and other real estate. Personal property may include a car, cash and other personal property. A probate estate does not include assets that pass directly to a beneficiary outside of the probate process. Some typical examples of assets that are not usually subject to probate include:

  • insurance policy proceeds;
  • retirement accounts, such as IRAs;
  • pension plans;
  • accounts at financial institutions, such as banks or credit unions, that are paid on death or accounts or joint accounts with right of survivorship;
  • mutual funds; or
  • deferred compensation plans.

Any property you own that is part of your estate, regardless of location, may be subject to estate recovery.

The state cannot take your property. All claims (debts) against an estate, including MERP claims, must be paid before property can be distributed as stated in a will. The heirs can choose to use other funds to pay the claim if they don’t want to sell the home.

2015 Federal Poverty Level — 300% (Effective Date: 1/22/2015)
Number of Persons in
Family or Household
Gross Monthly Income Gross Annual Income
1 $2,943 $35,310
2 $3,983 $47,790
3 $5,023 $60,270
4 $6,063 $72,750
5 $7,103 $85,230
6 $8,143 $97,710
7 $9,183 $110,190
8 $10,223 $122,670
For each additional person, add $1,040 $12,480

MERP will include that information with the Notice of Intent to File a Claim. You may also download the application from this website.

Heirs are not asked to spend their own money to pay the estate claim. The estate assets are expected to be used to pay the debts of the estate.

The estate recovery contractor will send a Notice of Intent to File a Claim (NOI) within 30 days of when they receive notice of the death of a Medicaid recipient. The NOI will be mailed to the decedent's estate representative, guardian, power of attorney or family members who have acted on behalf of the recipient, if their name and address are known. The NOI will include information on the program, a list of questions for you to complete and return, and an undue hardship waiver request form.

Both states may file a claim. The probate court will decide how to divide the estate between the claims.

Yes, a Medicaid long-term care recipient does not have to be receiving services at the time of death in order for MERP to file a claim.

MERP does not allow payment plans.

MERP cannot collect more than the value of the estate. Even if there are not enough assets in the estate to pay all or even some of the MERP claim, family members are not required to pay from their own pockets.

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Updated: June 3, 2016