I will free admit that I enjoy country music. Some members of my staff are vocal that they do not share my taste for country music. Sometimes planning for Medicaid resembles a country song, as a Medicaid applicant is forced to part with some of their treasured stuff. Nursing home Medicaid is a benefit provided by the federal government and administered by the Georgia Department of Community Health. The program pays for nursing home care for those who show a medical need for such care.
Along with the requirement of having a medical need for nursing home care, applicants for nursing home Medicaid must meet income and asset requirements. Nursing home Medicaid has a limit on the amount of assets an applicant can retain and qualify for nursing home Medicaid. There are also exempt assets, for which ownership does not count against Medicaid eligibility. The rules provided by the Georgia Medicaid regulations have some strange results. The regulations provide that a Medicaid applicant can retain a vehicle as exempt, and the value will not count against Medicaid eligibility. The regulations do not limit the value of such a vehicle, but do specify certain types of transportation that Medicaid does not consider a vehicle. A car, truck or motorcycle is considered to be a vehicle and can be exempt, while a dirt bike and recreational vehicle are not considered a vehicle. This results in a strange scenario in which a $200,000 Bentley can be excluded for Medicaid, but a $8,000 dirt bike will be countable.
Medicaid planning has many rules that are not intuitive, and therefore it is recommended that those who haves varied assets seek the assistance of an experienced elder law attorney when engaging in Medicaid planning.