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⭒ CANHR Advocate Dear Advocate Articles

Medi-Cal Notice of Death

Dear Advocate,

I am currently in charge of handling my mother’s affairs. She is a Medi-Cal beneficiary right now. When she passes away, is there anything I need to do with regards to Medi-Cal? I’ve heard that there’s a “Questionnaire” that I might have to fill out.

Concerned in Colma

Dear Concerned in Colma:

According to California Probate Code §§ 215 and 9202, after your mother passes away, your mother’s estate attorney, personal representative (which would be you in this case), or the person in possession of your mother’s property is required to give notice of her death to the Department of Health Services (“DHS”).

This notice should include a copy of the death certificate. To ensure proof that the notice and death certificate were actually mailed, we recommend using registered mail or some other proof of mailing.

After the notice of death is sent, DHS has four months in which to file an estate recovery claim. If DHS does not do so within these four months, it is forever barred from asserting a recovery claim.

In the mail, you might receive a “Questionnaire” asking about your mother’s assets. Despite language on the form stating otherwise, you are not legally required to fill out the “Questionnaire.” With regards to Medi-Cal, your only obligation is to provide notice of death to DHS.

For information about how to avoid estate recovery in the first place, contact CANHR at 1-800-474-1116.