Nursing home care is used when around the clock skilled nursing care is needed. This type of care is very expensive, costing $6,000 to $9,000 a month. Many families spend through a loved one’s savings quickly paying for such care. This is often unnecessary, as Medicaid can pay for care in a nursing home. 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 costs for those who have a medical need for skilled nursing care.
Often times, families decide not to pursue nursing home Medicaid due to the concern that substandard care will be received. This is largely a myth, as more than 90% of nursing homes in Georgia accept Medicaid. The care provided to Medicaid paying patients is mandated by law to be indistinguishable from the care for private pay patients. Obtaining Medicaid coverage enables access to needed care without exhausting resources.
While Medicaid can be used to pay for most nursing home care in Georgia, there are services that are not covered by Medicaid. Such services include: a private room, non FDA approved treatments, and personal items. Preserving Medicaid is important to ensure that there is money available to access such services.
While it is possible to conserve a significant amount of savings and qualify for nursing home Medicaid, care must be taken in doing such planning. If planning is not done properly, the Medicaid applicant can be hit with a significant penalty, resulting in a period of months, or even years, of ineligibility for nursing home Medicaid. As there are many factors to balance, it is recommended that anyone seeking nursing home Medicaid retain the services of an experienced elder law attorney.