Family homes may be used to pay for TennCare

May 31, 2012

The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled the state can go after the houses and property of people who have died, even property left to family members, if money is owed for end-of-life care.  

Wednesday's unanimous decision says both federal and state law permit TennCare to get reimbursed for the costs of nursing home or long-term care. TennCare administers the federal Medicaid program in the state. The Supreme Court holds that reimbursement can come from any property that can be used to pay debts.  The decision involved a Putnam County woman who left her home to loved ones after she died. TennCare filed a $22,000 claim against her estate for her care.