March 6, 2018

New Budget Deal Reinstates Ahlborn Protections for Personal Injury Awards

In 2006 the Supreme Court issued its Ahlborn decision, finding that under the anti-lien restrictions of the Social Security Act states had a right to recover only from the portion of a settlement or award that was allocated to medical expenses. The remainder of the settlement went to help cover the recipient’s expenses not covered by Medicaid. Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services, et al. v. Ahlborn 547 U.S. 268 (2006).

Congress then overturned the Ahlborn decision by Section 202 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 (BBA), which expanded states’ access to entire personal injury settlements and awards to recoup Medicaid costs spent on a beneficiary’s behalf, effective late 2017.

Now that portion of the BBA that overturned Ahlborn has been retroactively repealed in a law signed by President Trump on February 9, 2018.