What happens when somone dies and owes Medicare?

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What happens when somone dies and owes Medicare?

My father passed away 2 years ago leaving his property which is only worth $14,000 a van and some personal property to me in a Will. I haven’t any surviving siblings. I found out that my dad owes medicare over $23,000. I don’t know what I can do legally. Also, do I need to go to probate for this, the probate court said I may be able to do a release and that I would need to notify Medicare Recovery Program. If I notified the MRP will they take my father’s house and possessions? I don’t know what to do. Also, I am on disability myself so how will all this affect me and my benefits?

Asked on November 1, 2010 under Estate Planning, Ohio

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  What deos your Dad's estate owe medicare for in that amount of money?  Was it payment made to doctor's for which he should have been covered by another insurance plan such as n-fault or worker's comp?  Did he receive an award from these providers?  You need to figure out how he got this lien, if there was proper notice of the lien before a payout, and if there is a way to compromise the lien in some way.  This way you may be able to keep some of the Willed belongings. Yes, medicare can indeed recover the money if they paid for something and there was another insurance carrier who paid or could have paid.  The release that the probate court is referring to.  Does that have to do with a small estate or does that have to do with releasing the assets to medicare?  As for how this effects your disability you should contact your attorney on the matter.  In the meantime, try and figure out what the lien is for and work from there.  It is a big puzzle that you have to put together but you can do it one piece at a time.  Good luck.


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