Nursing home Medicaid is a program funded by the Federal government and administered by the Georgia Department of Community Health that provides coverage for nursing home care for those who have a medical need for such care. Along with showing a need for nursing home care, an applicant for nursing home Medicaid must meet asset and income requirements. If an applicant is over the asset limit, there are strategies that can be used to reduce the assets.
One of the main focuses of elder law is on legal means to reduce income and assets to qualify an applicant for nursing home Medicaid. These strategies are best suited for applicants who have assets that are significantly over, more than $20,000, over the asset requirements of Medicaid. But what does a person do who is only slightly above the asset requirement for Medicaid? First, what not to do: gift. Making a gift to a friend or family member results in a penalty that can substantially delay qualification for Medicaid.
A Medicaid applicant can spend the money on items that do not count towards the asset limit of Medicaid to reduce the amount of countable assets. These exempt expenditures include purchasing clothes, personal items, household item, one vehicle, and making home repairs. The applicant can purchase burial space items, such as a casket and headstone, and under some circumstances can fund a specific amount into a burial fund.
If the amount of the excess is too high to be quickly spent, consult an experienced elder law attorney for assistance in planning with the excess.