The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that the state can go after the family houses and property of people who have died -- even if that property has been left to family members in a will -- if money is owed for end-of-life care.
Wednesday's unanimous decision said that both federal and state law permit the Bureau of TennCare to get reimbursed for the costs of nursing home or long-term care.
TennCare administers the federal Medicaid program in Tennessee. The Supreme Court held that reimbursement can come from any property that can be used to pay debts.
The decision involved a Putnam County woman who had a will that left her home to loved ones after she died. TennCare filed a $22,000 claim against her estate for her care.