MO HealthNet for the Aged, Blind, and Disabled (MHABD) Manual

0880.005.00 Estate Recovery

IM-80 August 2, 2021; IM-177 December 16, 2019

Estate recovery occurs when MO HealthNet imposes a lien or requests money be paid to MO HealthNet Division (MHD) from a participant’s estate for the reimbursement of funds paid on behalf of the participant as required per 42 U.S. Code § 1396p.

Estate recovery does not apply to participants who only received Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMB) and Specified Low-Income Beneficiaries (SLMB). 

Estate recovery applies to certain participants who were 55 years of age or older when MO HealthNet benefits or vendor coverage was received.

  • According to RSMo 473.397, MO HealthNet debt is a class 7 Probate claim. It is to be paid after estate administration costs, exempt property, family and homestead allowances, funeral expenses, taxes, and expenses of last illness, but before other judgments are applied to any property and other assets.
  • In addition, RSMo 208.692 mandates the disregard of resources in an amount equal to the Long-Term Care insurance benefits paid to, or on behalf of, an individual who has received MO HealthNet benefits. See 1030.055.00 Missouri Long Term Care Partnership Program.
  • In 2007, Missouri law was amended by RSMo 473.398, and requires that any open estate of a participant who was enrolled in MO HealthNet at the time of his/her death, may not be closed until MO HealthNet issues a release of the Estate Recovery Claim.

When a participant is deceased and does not meet an exemption, MHD will send expenses paid on the deceased participant’s behalf to the Attorney General’s office for filing with the appropriate Probate Court.

NOTE: Staff is prohibited from giving any financial planning advice to participants, authorized representatives, attorneys, or legal guardians. Staff cannot provide case specific information regarding estate recovery since estate recovery is managed and overseen by MO HealthNet Division’s Cost Recovery Unit.

Participants and/or representatives must be directed to contact MHD directly for additional information regarding estate recovery regulations and procedures: