There are several different types of Medicaid coverage in Georgia. The primary type of coverage used for long term care planning is nursing home Medicaid. Nursing home Medicaid is a federal program administered by Georgia that provides coverage for nursing home care. To qualify for nursing home Medicaid, an applicant must have a medical need for nursing home level care. Along with the medical need, the applicant must meet specific asset and income qualification standards. These standards are often difficult to satisfy, as the income and asset levels are very low.
It is often difficult to meet the asset requirements for nursing home Medicaid. For a single individual to receive Medicaid they must have less than $2,000 in liquid assets, counting cash, checking, stocks, bonds, and other investments that can easily be converted into cash. In an attempt to reduce assets below the limit, it is routine for a Medicaid applicant to give away assets, but this should be done only after much thought. When a Medicaid applicant gives away assets without receiving equal value in return, they will be subjected to a penalty period, during which they will be ineligible to receive nursing homme Medicaid. In calculating the penalty period, any gifts that were made within the five years preceding the application for Medicaid are considered. If a gift is made without closely taking into account the effects of Medicaid, it can disqualify the applicant for Medicaid for months or evens years. An experienced elder law attorney can assist an applicant in reducing assets for the purpose of qualifying for Medicaid. Through the use of exempt transfers, that do not result in a penalty, and other legal techniques, an experienced elder law attorney can preserve assets and ensure qualification for Medicaid.
One of the bigger problems that can affect qualification for Medicaid is where the applicant has made prior gifts. These gifts could b e paying for a grandchild’s college education or giving the grandchild an old vehicle. Regardless of the motive behind such gifts, they can result in a penalty period if they were made within the five years preceding the application for Medicaid. If you, a friend, or family member is needing nursing home Medicaid, please seek the services of an experienced elder law attorney who can assist in protecting assets, and ensure that there is not unnecessary delay in receiving nursing home Medicaid.