Medicaid Planning in Georgia
Do You Need Help Paying for Nursing Home Care?
When a loved one requires skilled nursing level care, many families face the difficult question on how to pay for the care required. Nursing homes in Georgia cost on average between $6,000 and $9,000 per month and some facilities are over $10,000 per month! This is hard to sustain for even the most diligent savers! Despite many years of working and saving, families are concerned that there simply won’t be enough money to cover the cost of care.
Georgia rules restrict who may qualify for Medicaid’s nursing home benefit. When an individual has income and assets that exceed the Medicaid threshold, we have devised a series of strategies for these circumstances. This allows an individual to qualify for Georgia Nursing Home Medicaid while preserving a substantive amount of their assets.
Is your loved one a Medicaid applicant or recipient that has been denied coverage?
Receiving a denial after enduring the long and tedious Medicaid Application process can be scary and frustrating. Depending on the situation, there are many different strategies for overturning an initial denial. Our attorneys will review your specific situation and can not only assist with handling the appeal but may also be able to protect your original application date. Timing is of the essence in this situation so don’t delay. Contact us so that we can review your specific situation and find ways we can help!
Will I Lose My Home?
Many people who apply for Medicaid benefits to pay for nursing home costs ask this question. For many, the home constitutes much or most of their life savings. Often, it is all the couple has to pass on to their children.
Under the Medicaid regulations, the home is an exempt asset (so long as the equity value is less than $525,000). This means its value is not taken into account when calculating eligibility for Medicaid benefits. But in 1993, Congress passed a little‐debated law that affects hundreds of thousands of families with a spouse or elderly parent in a nursing home. That law requires states to try to recover the value of Medicaid payments made on behalf of nursing home residents. Estate Recovery does not take place until the recipient of the benefits dies (or until both spouses are deceased if it is a married couple). Then, federal law requires that states attempt to recover benefits paid from the recipient’s probate estate and in some cases non‐ probate estate. Generally, the probate estate consists of assets that the deceased owned in his or her name alone without beneficiary designation. The non‐probate assets include assets owned jointly or payable to a beneficiary.
About two‐thirds of the nation’s nursing home residents have their costs paid in part by Medicaid. Obviously, the Estate Recovery law affects many families. The asset most frequently caught in the Estate Recovery web is the home of the Medicaid recipient. A nursing home resident can often own a home and receive Medicaid benefits without having to sell the home. But upon death, if the home is part of the probate or non‐probate estate, the state may place a lien on the property in the amount necessary to reimburse the state for the Medicaid payments that were made.
The state of Georgia has a Medicaid Estate Recovery Pro‐ gram. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your property in Georgia or to at least minimize your exposure to Estate Recovery. Since Medicaid rules are constantly changing, you will need assistance from an elder law attorney about these rules. Contact us to discuss your specific situation so that we can find ways to help.