The famed recording artist Prince died leaving an unknown fortune and possibly no will or estate plan to dictate what to do w...Read more
Members of Religious Colony Worth Millions Sue for Medicaid
- March 4th, 2005
The Montana Supreme Court will soon decide whether seven women who are members of a religious community with millions of dollars in assets are nevertheless eligible for Medicaid coverage.
The women are members of the King Colony Hutterite community, which has an estimated $2.1 million assets in farmland, crops and livestock. In 1992, the women applied for and were granted Medicaid benefits for themselves and their families. Later, however, the state Department of Public Health and Human Services determined that the women don't qualify financially for Medicaid because they have access to the colony's net worth. The Department said that the colony had established a "trust relationship" through its founding documents.
The women contend they have no way to access the colony's resources because they have no vote in the colony. Kent Kasting, an attorney for the seven women, said the Hutterite men are the only members in the community who have access to the colony's financial resources. He said, "[The women] don't own anything. They can't -- they come into the world with nothing."
A state district judge ruled in favor of the women last March, and the state appealed. The Montana Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case on March 9.
If the women win the lawsuit, Montana might have to extend coverage to the 49 other Hutterite colonies in Montana, which totals 4,000 members.
"Any communal living situation, I guess any family trust, family farm trust, it would be I think easy for a multimillion-dollar farm organization to put their income into some kind of a trust and indicate that they're going to send their members to welfare to apply for health benefits," said Russ Cater, chief legal counsel for the Department of Public Health and Human Services.
The Hutterites grew out of the 16th-century Anabaptist religious movement in Europe, which also gave rise to the Mennonites and Amish. They live in communal agricultural colonies, with men and women taking on traditional roles and wearing traditional clothing.
To read an Associated Press article on the controversy, go to: http://www.aberdeennews.com/mld/aberdeennews/news/11014207.htm
Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA
Needham Mitnick & Pollack, PLC
Judith Mtinick is well known for acting as a guardian, conservator, trustee or agent on behalf of clients or by court appointment. This experience gives her a wide perspective and extensive practical knowledge that she uses when advising clients in drafting their planning documents. Her experience, as a court appointed...
Law Offices of John L. Laster
John Laster is a lawyer licensed to practice in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. He limits his practice to wealth transfer planning, trusts, wills, powers of attorney, health care decision-making issues, estate administration and related tax, elder law and disability concerns. Listed in The Best Lawyers...
Hale Ball Carlson Baumgartner Murphy PLC
Jean Galloway Ball is certified in Elder Law by the National Elder Law Foundation. She is a 1977 honors graduate of the National Law Center, George Washington University, and she did her undergraduate work at the University of California at Berkeley, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1971. She is admitted to practice in Vir...