TITLE XII
PUBLIC SAFETY AND WELFARE

CHAPTER 167
PUBLIC ASSISTANCE TO BLIND, AGED, OR DISABLED PERSONS, AND TO DEPENDENT CHILDREN

Section 167:14-a

    167:14-a Recovery of Assistance. –
I. Any person who is a recipient of financial assistance, medical assistance, old age assistance, aid to the needy blind, medicaid for employed adults with disabilities, or aid to the permanently and totally disabled shall, by his acceptance of such assistance, be deemed to have assigned any claim or right of action against any person or party to the commissioner of health and human services, to the extent that such assistance is furnished.
II. Whenever a recipient of financial assistance, medical assistance, old age assistance, aid to the needy blind, medicaid for employed adults with disabilities, or aid to the permanently and totally disabled shall have a legally cognizable claim against any person or party for expenses or support and the department of health and human services has already furnished assistance to such recipient, the amount of assistance furnished may be recovered in an action brought in the name of the state from such person or party against whom the recipient has a legally cognizable claim for expenses or support.
II-a. The commissioner may recover the amount of medical assistance furnished to a dependent child from the child's responsible parents to the extent authorized under Title XXI of the Social Security Act. In such cases, the amount of assistance furnished and subject to reimbursement shall include, but not be limited to, expenditures for medical care and health insurance premiums and other expenditures paid by the state for enrollment or other fees for participation in the program.
III. The state medical assistance program is the payor of last resort and shall provide medical coverage only when there are no other available resources. Whenever a recipient of medical assistance shall receive a settlement or an award from a liable third person or party, such recipient shall repay the amount of medical assistance furnished by the state to the extent that the amount of the recovery makes repayment possible. If a recipient of medical assistance receives a settlement or an award from a third party, the settlement or award is subject to disbursement as provided in paragraphs III-a and IV.
III-a. The commissioner of health and human services may recover the full amount of medical assistance furnished by the state from the portion of any settlement or judgment reasonably attributable to medical expenses. The commissioner may waive or reduce the amount due the state for good cause upon written request from a recipient or recipient's attorney. The acceptance of any waiver or the payment of any reduced amount due shall create a rebuttable presumption that the apportionment was equitable in any action brought pursuant to paragraph IV.
IV. A disbursement of any award, judgment, or settlement shall not be made to a recipient without the recipient or the recipient's attorney first providing at least 30-days written notice of any scheduled trial, alternative dispute resolution hearing, or settlement to the commissioner of health and human services that the recipient has a claim which could result in a recovery from a third party or obtaining from the commissioner a written release of any obligation owed to the state for medical assistance provided to the recipient. The commissioner shall notify the recipient or the recipient's attorney of the amount of the commissioner's claim within 21 days of the notice. If a dispute arises between the recipient and the commissioner of health and human services as to the settlement of any claim that arises under this section, the third party or the recipient's attorney shall withhold from disbursement to the recipient or to any legal instrument created for the benefit of the recipient, an amount equal to the commissioner's claim. Either party may apply to the superior court or the district court in which an action based upon the recipient's claim could have been commenced for an order to determine an equitable apportionment between the commissioner and the recipient of the amount withheld. The court shall have broad discretion to apportion the amount withheld as justice may require. An order of apportionment has the effect of a judgment. The obligation of a third party under this paragraph to withhold all or part of a disbursement is conditional upon the receipt by the third party of written notice from the commissioner, the recipient, or the recipient's attorney that the commissioner is asserting a claim.
V. All property, real or personal, in a revocable trust is subject to recovery by the department for recovery for any medical assistance provided the decedent. Upon the death of the grantor, the department shall provide the trustee with a statement containing the amount of medical assistance which was provided to the decedent.
VI. (a) For purposes of recovering the costs of medical assistance, the estate of a recipient shall include all property, real or personal, which at the time of a recipient's death was held by the recipient in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship, or life estate for all such title or interest established on or after July 1, 2005. Recovery shall be limited to the value of the recipient's ownership interest and in no case shall such amount exceed the total amount of medical assistance provided to the deceased recipient, nor shall recovery extend to any interest in property, real or personal, for which a non-recipient owner paid fair market value at the time said ownership interest was acquired.
(b) No sooner than 45 days from the death of the recipient, the department shall provide the other joint owner or owners notice of the department's claim. Written notice shall include a description of all categories of individuals exempt from recovery by reason of familial status as allowed under 42 U.S.C. section 1396p(b)(2) and RSA 167:16-a, IV, as well as the availability and method of requesting a hardship waiver. Within 30 days of the receipt of notification of the department's claim, the joint owner or owners shall acknowledge receipt of the department's claim and, provided that there shall not be undue hardship imposed upon the surviving joint owner or owners, either tender an amount equal to the deceased recipient's interest in the identified property and/or financial instrument to the state of New Hampshire toward the deceased's medical assistance bill, but such amount shall not exceed the total amount of medical assistance provided to the deceased recipient, or enter into a binding agreement to make such payment as soon as is practicable. If the joint owner or owners refuse to acknowledge receipt of the department's claim or to tender payment or fail to fulfill the agreement to pay without good cause, as required by this paragraph, the commissioner may bring an action in superior court or probate court, as the case may be, to compel such payment. Nothing in this paragraph shall be interpreted or applied so as to violate RSA 167:16-a or 42 U.S.C. section 1396p(b)(2)(A) and (B) prohibiting recovery when the recipient is survived by a spouse, minor children, or disabled children or when the recipient is survived by either siblings or children under certain circumstances.

Source. 1973, 412:1. 1981, 191:1. 1983, 288:2; 291:1. 1995, 310:176, 181. 1998, 322:1; 360:1. 2002, 84:1, 2. 2005, 175:8, 9; 177:115. 2006, 45:1; 278:5. 2008, 253:1. 2009, 316:1. 2010, 15:1, eff. May 7, 2010.