Estate Recovery / Property Liens

Estate Recovery

The Estate Recovery program enables the state to recover taxpayer funds spent by Medicaid on behalf of the recipient for medical services. Recovery is made from the estate of certain deceased recipients who had qualified assets at the time of their death. This program is required by federal law.

Health Management Systems (HMS) works on behalf of Alabama Medicaid in its estate recovery efforts. Recipient sponsors and personal representatives may receive letters and questionnaires from HMS to identify potential estate recovery cases.  Call 1-855-543-8395 if there are any questions regarding a letter or questionnaire sent by HMS. Medicaid does not have information on cases identified by HMS.

The Estate Recovery Unit is responsible for recovering funds from the estates of deceased individuals aged 55 and over and other Medicaid-certified individuals with certain types of trusts. These include Qualifying Income Trust Packet, Special Needs Trusts and the Alabama Family Trust.

Questions regarding estate recovery should be directed to Codie Rowland, 334-242-5652, or Teresa Dunbar, 334-242-5311.

Property Liens

A lien placed on real property at the time of application allows a person to become Medicaid eligible despite having ownership interest in property.  These TEFRA (pre-death) liens are used by the Medicaid Agency for institutionalized individuals. Without the lien, the applicant or family would have to pay his/her medical expenses or would have to sell the property, spend down the money, and reapply.  A property lien is not taken when certain situations exist in the home. 

In other special circumstances, a property lien may also be placed on a recipient’s real and personal property after the recipient’s death.

The Liens Operations Unit is also responsible for handling liens placed on property. Questions regarding property liens should be directed to Cindy Byrd, 334-242-5304, or DaRhonda Jackson  334-242-5888.