Samuel A. Teolis, Supervisor | Carmella M. Teolis, Funeral Director

Medical Assistance

The day may come when one or both of your parents, or maybe yourself may need nursing home care. In today’s day and age, the cost of nursing home care can reach or exceed $5000.00 a month. As you can see this can quickly deplete savings, and assets held by the individual who needs the nursing home care. The state of pennsylvania presently goes back 5 years to track the individuals assets, including life insurance policies, when they apply for public assistance for nursing home care.

To qualify for nursing home medical assistance the individual will have to have spend down their funds. You are allowed to have the following assets:

  1. Up to but not exceeding $2,400.00 in a personal checking or savings account, for daily needs.
  2. Up to $12,500.00 in a pre-arranged funeral irrevocable trust account. Unless the account was set up prior to applying for medical assistance ,in which case you may set aside as much as you wish to spend on funeral expenses.
  3. Also, you may spend up to $2,500.00 on a monument, if one has not been purchased previously.

For more information concerning these matters please feel free to contact our firm.

Medical assistance estate recovery program.

1. What is the medical assistance estate recovery program?

Established under a new federal law, this program requires the department of public welfare to recover the medical assistance (ma) costs paid to certain individuals who have died. If an individual 55 or older was receiving ma benefits and dies, the department will reimburse the medical assistance program by recovering these costs from the assets of the person’s probate estate. A probate estate exists when a person dies and his or her assets are distributed by will or by state law.

2. Who is affected?

Only individuals age 55 and older who were receiving ma benefits for the following services:

  • public or private nursing facility care;
  • residential care at home or in a community setting; and
  • any hospital care and prescription drug services provided while receiving nursing facility care or residential care at home or in a community setting.

3. When will the program take effect? 

Estate recovery began with ma services paid on or after august 15, 1994. No recovery will be made from the estates of individuals who died before august 15, 1994.

4. What property is subject to estate recovery?

Any property that is part of the recipient’s probate estate will be subject to estate recovery. Again, a probate estate exists when a person dies and the assets of the deceased are distributed by will or by state law.

5. What happens if the spouse or dependent child is still living?

If the spouse is still living and the estate is being passed on without probate, there is no recovery. If there is a dependent child – under age 21, blind or disabled – still living, recovery will be delayed until the child reaches age 21 or is no longer disabled.

6. Are there any exceptions to estate recovery?

If estate recovery would cause undue hardship to the surviving family, the executor or estate administrator may request a waiver by writing to :


Estate recovery program
P.O. Box 8486
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8486
For additional information, please call 1-800-528-3708