POSTED IN: Long-Term Care, Medicaid Planning
TAGS: Long-Term Care Facilities, Medicare, Nursing Home
Nursing home care, for most families, is the option of last resort. In our experience, many are placed in a nursing home for two reasons:
- Around-the-clock clinical care and oversight is absolutely needed.
- The aging loved one has run out of money and cannot afford any other option.
Many try to avoid nursing home placement as long as possible, but sometimes the nursing home is the only option.
Many older adults move into nursing homes because they cannot afford assisted living care or in-home care.
Medicaid is the safety net program that pays for long-term care. Although thought of as a program only for the poor, Medicaid is becoming the payer of long-term care for thousands of middle class families.
In Georgia, our Medicaid program primarily pays for nursing home care. We do have some home and community based programs, but those programs are severely underfunded.
You can find a good quality nursing home that accepts Medicaid.
Our families fear that nursing home care equates to poor care, but Metro Atlanta does have some high-quality nursing homes, and those homes are accessible to Medicaid beneficiaries.
There is no such thing as a “Medicaid nursing home.”
Most nursing homes in Metro Atlanta are dual-certified for Medicare and Medicaid. That is, most of our nursing homes accept both Medicare and Medicaid, and there are no Medicaid-only nursing homes.
Nursing homes prefer Medicare and private pay residents.
There are a few private-pay only or Medicare-only nursing homes, but not very many.
All nursing homes may prefer to work with residents who pay more for their care (as Medicaid reimburses less than Medicare and private pay), but most also gladly accept Medicaid dollars as that is a secure, predictable source of income.
They cannot discriminate against Medicaid residents.
In the dual-certified homes, visitors, residents and even staff have no indication of who is a Medicaid recipient and who is paying privately to be in the nursing home. Discrimination based on payment source is prohibited and remember that most nursing home residents are Medicaid beneficiaries.
Finding the good nursing homes that accept Medicaid.
Not all nursing homes provide the same quality of care, and you should do your homework to find ones that have good ratings and reputations. You can start researching your options here:
Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare
Georgia Healthcare Facility Regulator
Georgia Health Care Association
Georgia Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center
Making the decision to move a loved one into a nursing home is never easy, and then finding a nursing home bed can be difficult. It’s not impossible, but it is difficult. Our firm has two care coordinators on staff to help our families navigate this process and find good nursing homes. They work alongside our attorneys and public benefits specialists to help our families find, get, and pay for good long-term care.
As Medicaid becomes the payer of long-term care for the middle class, we encourage families to start planning sooner rather than later for their long-term care needs. Learn more about our Asset Protection Plans here. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at (404) 843-0121 or here.
Subscribe to our blog and monthly newsletter.