This year, Governor Brown signed a law, which will significantly change Medi-Cal estate recovery laws beginning Jan. 1. The new law essentially limits estate recovery to the bare minimum required by federal law and will apply to Medi-Cal recipients who die after Jan. 1, 2017.
Federal law requires that states recover Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) benefits paid to an individual for nursing home care. After a Medi-Cal recipient dies, recovery occurs against assets owned by the recipient at their death. An asset that is frequently used to pay back Medi-Cal is