The Estate Recovery Act technically isn’t a tax, but it involves the government taking money out of your estate after you die. In fact, the Estate Recovery Act can have a far more devastating impact on your estate than any estate tax does.
The Estate Recovery Act can be the most detrimental tax, because the people most likely to require Medicaid assistance are people who probably have the least property. Chances are that most of what they do have is in their houses. So guess what the government will go after, for reimbursement, once a “targeted” person dies? You guessed it: the family home.
People work their whole lives to achieve the “American Dream”, to own their own home and perhaps leave a legacy for their children, yet most people are unaware of this act until it’s too late.
The idea behind the Estate Recovery Act is simple (but devious): If you need to accept help from Medicaid for health care services, you have no problem while you’re still alive. But after you die, the government wants its money back.
Does it Work?
Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute, in an article “Medicaid Reform”, gives this overview:
“Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that funds medical services and long-term care for moderate-income families. Medicaid is one of the largest items in the federal budget, and its costs are growing at a rapid and unsustainable rate. The program should be overhauled to substantially reduce the taxpayer burden,
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