The enormous cost of residency in a nursing home or similar qualified facility in Georgia and other states can be an unexpected development that intrudes to deplete a family’s assets. This can erase the carefully laid plans of a couple to enjoy their assets through their retirement years. Medicaid planning may be a way to avoid the economic ravage and still provide the needed care for a loved one.
Medicaid is the main government source for funding a person’s nursing home stay. Medicare does not cover any substantial costs for nursing home residence or care. The maze of regulations, however, can prevent a family from easily knowing how to qualify for Medicaid. A family will do best by contacting and consulting with an experienced elder law attorney at least five years prior to the time that one believes that a nursing home may be necessary.
To qualify, the recipient of the aid can only have up to $2,000 in countable assets and his or her countable income cannot exceed the state’s income cap. There are various exemptions from what is included in countable assets and income. With respect to irrevocable trusts, the full amount may be exempt if it was funded more than five years earlier than the Medicaid application. The personal residence, if occupied, may be exempted up to the first $572,000 in value.
The process of qualifying for Medicaid nursing home assistance in Georgia and other states is quite complex and requires the assistance of an experienced elder law professional. Any miscalculations or mistakes about the requirements or the time limitations can result in the unnecessary loss of valuable assets that could have been retained by the recipient’s spouse or children. One’s elder law attorney will formulate a strategy of Medicaid Planning and will explain precisely how much of one’s assets may have to be “spent down” in order to qualify within a given time.