Medi-Cal Claims in Probte
After the Probate case has been filed and a hearing date has been set, the Department of Health and Human Services needs to be notified in addition to all heirs, beneficiaries and those who have filed a Request for Special Notice. The source of law for this notification requirement is Section 215 of the Probate Code which states that when a deceased person received health care benefits or was the surviving spouse of a person who received that health care, the estate attorney, beneficiary, personal representative or person in possession of property of the decedent must notify the Director of the Department (at the Sacramento office) within 90 days after the date of death. The notice must include a copy of the deceased person’s death certificate.
In probate cases Probate Code Section 9202 requires the personal representative or probate attorney to give notice of the decedent’s death to the Director of the Department in the manner above (See Probate Code Section 215) within 90 days of the date letters are first issued.
Online Notice of Death
The Medi-Cal Estate Recovery Program maintains an online form that can be used to supply Medi-Cal with Notice of Death. Submitting notice via the online form with an attached death certificate satisfies the Medi-Cal notice requirements under Section 215 of the Probate Code.
Medi-Cal Creditor Claim
If any money is owed to Medi-Cal they will file a Creditor’s Claim with the Court, serve it on the Petitioner or the probate attorney, and will include a detailed Medi-Cal usage bill. It is very important to review the bill and make sure it is correct. You want to go over the bill, line by line, and make sure that the dates of coverage are correct, Medi-Cal is filing a claim on the correct decedent and there are no charges accrued after the date of death. The government typically becomes a “priority claimant” and it is important to ensure that they receive any required distribution from the estate. There are some instances when the Department of Health and Human Services may not be entitled to receive reimbursement, and it would be beneficial to discuss whether they are entitled to receive reimbursement with a probate attorney.
When completing the Final Accounting and Order for Distribution, the Judge should ensure that the date the Department of Health and Human Services was notified is included, along with the status of their claim, if they were paid, how much they were paid, and you will need to indicate that any debt owed to them has been satisfied. You will not be able to close out the Probate case until any and all Medi-Cal bills have been paid or settled.