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When must TennCare be notified of an individual's death under Tennessee law in the context of a probate estate?

Posted on May 21 2013 9:54AM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

Under certain circumstances, TennCare must be provided with notice by the personal representative of the death of an individual in the context of a probate estate in Tennessee.  T.C.A. § 30-2-301 provides that within sixty days of a personal representative's appointment as the personal representative, they are required to execute and file an affidavit with the clerk that the Bureau of TennCare has been notified of the decedent's death if they are older then 55 years of age or are a TennCare recipient.  T.C.A. § 30-2-301(b)(5) provides as follows:

 

(5) Within the sixty-day period, the personal representative shall execute and file with the clerk of the court an affidavit that the bureau of TennCare has been notified of the decedent's death pursuant to § 71-5-116.

 

T.C.A. § 71-5-116(c)(2) provides as follows:

 

(c)(2) Before any probate estate may be closed pursuant to title 30, with respect to a decedent who, at the time of death, was enrolled in the TennCare program, the personal representative of the estate shall file with the clerk of the court exercising probate jurisdiction a release from the bureau of TennCare evidencing either:

(A) Payment of all medical assistance benefits, premiums, or other costs due from the estate under law;

(B) Waiver of the bureau's claims; or

(C) A statement from the bureau that no amount is due.

 

Therefore, it is clear that when someone is enrolled in TennCare at the time of their death, a release must be filed with the court in the probate estate stating that TennCare has been paid all it is owed from the estate; or that TennCare has waived any claim; or that TennCare has stated that no money is owed. 

 

Additionally, T.C.A. § 71-5-116(d)(1) provides specific notice requirements as follows:

 

(d)(1) To facilitate and enhance compliance with subsection (c), the following notices shall be provided:

(A) Within thirty (30) days of receipt of notice of a person's death, the department of health shall notify the bureau of TennCare, in a format to be specified by the bureau, of the death of any individual fifty-five (55) years of age or older. Each notification shall include the decedent's name, date of birth and social security number;

(B) Within sixty (60) days of the date of issuance of either letters of administration or letters testamentary, the personal representatives of decedents shall provide notice of the death of any individual fifty-five (55) years of age or older to the bureau of TennCare, in a format to be specified by the bureau, shall state whether the decedent was a TennCare recipient and shall request a release from the bureau of TennCare pursuant to subdivision (c)(2), and an affidavit confirming notice shall be filed pursuant to § 30-2-301(b)(3);

(C) Personal representatives of decedents shall provide notice to the court concerning whether or not the decedent was a TennCare recipient pursuant to § 30-1-117; and

(D) Personal representatives of decedents shall provide the notice to creditors specified in § 30-2-306 to the bureau of TennCare, if the decedent was a TennCare recipient. If a notice to creditors is provided to the bureau, the bureau shall file a claim for recovery in accordance with the requirements of title 30, chapter 2, part 3.

 

As a result, TennCare must be notified by the personal representative of the death of the decedent if the decedent is over fifty-five years of age or if the decedent was a TennCare recipient.  These requirements are very important when handling the probate of an estate in Tennessee. 

 

Follow me on Twitter at @jasonalee for updates from the Tennessee Wills and Estates blog.

TAGS: Creditor claims, TennCare, Notice Requirements
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Jason A. Lee is a Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC. Contact Jason at 615-540-1004 or jlee@burrowlee.com for an initial consultation on wills estate planning and probate issues.

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Tennessee Wills and Estates Blog
Jason A. Lee, Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC
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Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: 615-540-1004
E-mail: jlee@burrowlee.com

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