☰ Revisor of Missouri


Chapter 473

< > Effective - 28 Aug 1990    bottom

  473.399.  Definitions — obligation to repay assistance, claim against estate, when — defenses, setoff — exceptions. — 1.  As used in this section, the following terms mean:

  (1)  "Assistance", funds expended by a state agency to or on behalf of a person in the form of aid, care, or services, except that for the purposes of this section, aid to families with dependent children shall not be considered assistance;

  (2)  "Obligor estate", the estate against which an obligation under this section arises;

  (3)  "Recipient", a person to whom or on whose behalf assistance is provided;

  (4)  "State agency", the department of social services, department of health and senior services and department of mental health of the state of Missouri.

  2.  For the purposes of this section, the providing of assistance shall create an obligation which may be recovered by filing a claim in the probate division of the circuit court against the decedent estate of the spouse of the deceased recipient upon such spouse's death as provided by the probate code of Missouri, chapters 472, 473, 474 and 475.  The amount of the state debt shall be the full amount of assistance without interest provided to the recipient during the marriage of such recipient and spouse; provided that the liability of the obligor estate shall not exceed the value of the combined resources of the recipient and the spouse of the recipient on the date of death of the recipient.

  3.  The state agency providing the assistance may initiate a claim on the debt against the obligor estate.

  4.  The obligor estate may assert as a defense to the state agency's claim that more than two years prior to the providing of assistance, the recipient voluntarily abandoned the spouse.

  5.  An obligor estate shall have the right of setoff against the state debt for any amounts recovered by the state agency from the estate of the deceased recipient pursuant to section 473.398.

  6.  Claims shall not be filed under this section when collection of the state debt would be contrary to federal statutes for assistance programs in which federal funds are received.


(L. 1990 H.B. 1725 § 1)

(2008) Section's definition of estate does not include all non-probate transfers and thus is insufficiently broad to allow recovery by State of Medicaid benefits from estate of recipient's surviving spouse.  In re Estate of Shuh, 248 S.W.3d 82 (Mo.App.E.D.).

(2008) Section authorizing State to receive reimbursement from Medicaid recipient's estate after recipient's death or from estate of recipient's spouse after death of spouse is preempted by federal statute.  In re Estate of Bruce, 260 S.W.3d 398 (Mo.App.W.D.).

---- end of effective  28 Aug 1990 ----

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