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Spotting Medicaid Issues, Part II: Guardians Timely Applying for Medicaid
Post on June 6th, 2024

OBLIC is seeing an increasing trend in activity by care facilities seeking to surcharge a ward’s guardian for delay or alleged errors in filing Medicaid applications for the ward. Attorneys serving as guardians should be aware of the nursing home’s standing as an interested party when filing the final account.  

Guardians need to pay attention to the timing of the Medicaid application process. A recent decision, In Re: Guardianship of Juanita LaRue, 12th Dist. Clermont, 2024-Ohio-692, found that the nursing home as a creditor of the estate could file an exception to the guardian’s final account under R.C. 2109.33 when notice for the hearing conducted on the final account per R.C.2109.32(A) had not been provided to the nursing home.  

The LaRue Court discussed that pursuant to R.C. 2111.14(A)(3), the duties of a guardian include the duty to pay all “just debts” due from the ward out of the estate. The nursing home charges were “just debts” which the guardian had a duty to pay. This duty included the obligation to make a timely application for Medicaid benefits. Citing In re Ewanicky, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No.81742, 2003-Ohio-3351, the Court noted the guardian is personally liable for the ward’s debt accrued due to the guardian’s negligence in failing to timely apply for Medicaid. See R.C. 2111.151(B)(3). 

If serving as a guardian – including as a court appointed guardian: 
Be sure to timely file a Medicaid application when appropriate! 

If a situation arises involving a Medicaid application: 
Immediately report it to OBLIC to address issues with liability for alleged negligence or fraud and potential disciplinary considerations.  

For additional resources see Ohio Department of Medicaid  
Step by step instructions for selecting a Medicaid Program and the Application/Renewal process 

 See also our May 30th, 2024 post: Spotting Medicaid Issues, Part I: Ohio Medicaid Estate Recovery 

Gretchen K. Mote, Esq.
Director of Loss Prevention
Ohio Bar Liability Insurance Co.
Direct:  614.572.0620
[email protected]
Merisa K. Bowers, Esq.
Loss Prevention Counsel
Ohio Bar Liability Insurance Co.
Direct:  614.859.2978
[email protected]


This information is made available solely for loss prevention purposes, which may include claim prevention techniques designed to minimize the likelihood of incurring a claim for legal malpractice. This information does not establish, report, or create the standard of care for attorneys. The material is not a complete analysis of the topic and should not be construed as providing legal advice. Please conduct your own appropriate legal research in this area. If you have questions about this email’s content and are an OBLIC policyholder, please contact us using the information above.