Nursing home Medicaid is a program funded by the Federal government and administered by the Georgia Department of Community Health to provide for nursing home care for those who have a medical need for such care. Along with showing a medical need for nursing home care, applicants for nursing home Medicaid must also meet financial requirements, an income test and an asset test. Detailed coverage of these requirements can be found in the Medicaid planning portion of this website.
The rules for assets that a Medicaid applicant can be counterintuitive. I am reminded of this as I drive around Atlanta. I frequently see exotic cars, such as Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Bentleys on the roads. Luckily, they do not challenge me to a race, as my Chrysler minivan would not fare well. The fact is that any of these cars could qualify for the vehicle exclusion under Medicaid. When counting assets to assess Medicaid qualification, the value of one vehicle is excluded, regardless of the cost. I have never seen, and do not expect to see, someone owning a Bentley qualify for Medicaid, but it is possible. The vehicle exemption exempts one vehicle for the Medicaid applicant and their spouse. So while, the full value of the Bentley would be excluded, if a couple own two ten year old Hondas, only one of the vehicles could be exempted.
Some may see this as a planning opportunity for when a Medicaid applicant has too many assets. While it technically would work to buy a very expensive car, there are more practical ways of reducing assets for Medicaid that do not require investment in a depreciating assets that requires continued upkeep. Also, investing in an expensive asset does not provide complete Medicaid protection as there will be a Medicaid payback claim against the asset on the death of the Medicaid recipient. The services of an experienced elder lawyer can be invaluable in securing nursing home Medicaid for those with too many assets