OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter today sent a letter to nursing homes and assisted living facilities statewide to inform administrators that taking Medicaid recipients’ COVID-19 stimulus funds is illegal.
According to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the economic impact payments are considered a tax credit, therefore exempt from federal benefits programs such as Medicaid.
Signed by Pres. Donald Trump in March, the CARES Act included $2.2 trillion for emergency assistance to Americans and businesses financially struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Attorney General Hunter said his office is monitoring the situation and will take action if necessary.
“My office is hearing complaints from around the country that some of these facilities are requiring their residents receiving Medicaid to sign over their stimulus funds,” Attorney General Hunter said. “Although we have not received any complaints of this nature, we want to advise these facilities this practice is not allowed. If any Oklahoma administrators or facility operators have taken this money from residents receiving Medicaid, we are asking they return the funds. We are also calling on Oklahomans to communicate with loved ones who receive Medicaid and live in these facilities to ensure their payments have been properly handled, if they don’t already know.”
If individuals need more information, they are encouraged to review the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) advisory with additional resources. The FTC’s advisory can be found here: https://bit.ly/3d6th6t.
Read the attorney general’s letter to nursing homes and assisted living facilities, here: https://bit.ly/2M4DNzk.