Seniors represent the fastest growing age group in Georgia and elsewhere as the baby boomer generation enters retirement years. Many in the population qualify for Medicaid. A new law that was recently signed by the governor of Georgia may impact how Medicaid planning is done.
The new law contains two waivers that could affect who in Georgia qualifies for Medicaid. One waiver could make it easier for seniors to qualify for Medicaid. One concern is that it will cause more people to enter into nursing homes that are already crowded and understaffed. There is also a concern that the waiver may make it more difficult for children and non-senior adults to qualify for Medicaid coverage.
The details of the law, the Patients First Act, are not yet known. A consultant will be brought in by the state to come up with the details. Approximately 75% of Georgia nursing home patients are currently on Medicaid. The details the consultant comes up with could have a profound impact on the health care of a large number of children, adults and seniors who live in Georgia.
Deciding on care for seniors can be difficult and Medicaid planning is a very big piece of the puzzle. The new law may create new questions for Georgians looking to find health care for elderly family members or physically or mentally disabled relatives. Consulting with an attorney experienced in dealing with Medicaid issues may help a family to make the right decision for the loved ones and can also provide clarity and understanding around new regulations created by the new law.