California Gov. Jerry Brown, citing budget concerns, has vetoed a bill that would have limited what the state could recoup for healthcare costs from the estates of dead Medicaid beneficiaries. As a result, some eligible lower-income Californians may decide against signing up for the program, advocates worry.
The federal government requires states to recover funds from Medicaid beneficiaries age 55 and older for long-term-care services such as nursing home care. But California is one of a few states that collect for all medical care, including premiums paid to a health plan on behalf of a beneficiary from age 55 until he or she becomes eligible for Medicare at age 65.