Statement on the Budget Vote: Limiting CA’s Scope of Medi-Cal Estate Recovery

June 15, 2016

SACRAMENTO – The California State Senate passed the 2016-17 budget bill by a vote of 27-11. SB 826 (Leno) is on time, balanced, includes $122 billion spending plan, appropriates record levels of K-12 per-pupil spending, invests in public higher education, allocates money to the rainy day fund, and focuses on issues of poverty, housing and childcare.

For three years, Senator Ed Hernandez, chair of the Senate Health Committee, has championed the cause to limit the scope of California’s Medi-Cal estate recovery. Provisions in the health budget trailer bill (SB 833 vote: 28-9) limit Medi-Cal estate recovery to that only required by federal law.

Medi-Cal estate recovery is basically asset seizure of the home and savings of low-income people simply seeking health care coverage and it doesn’t exist in any other health programs, such as Medicare or subsidized coverage in Covered California.


“Estate recovery forces people over age 55 who need Medi-Cal to choose between their own health care and passing on modest possessions to their heirs,” said Senator Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina). “I have been fighting for three years to limit the scope of California’s Medi-Cal estate recovery to only what is required under federal law. California’s practice is fundamentally unfair to the lowest income Californians who need Medi-Cal for basic health services. It is a huge victory that this year’s budget limits estate recovery so that people with modest family homes can pass it on to their children.”