There is a lot to consider when discussing the State of Georgia’s medicaid eligibility rules. Here, we will discuss just a few of the most critical aspects. If you are considering applying for Medicaid in the State of Georgia, it is vital that these factors be taken into account before applying. Failure to do so could cost the family a large portion of their inheritance.
Your Home and Medicaid Eligibility
The eligibility bar is set very low with concern to the value of your home. Unless your home is valued at higher than $636,000.00, you are still eligible for Medicaid assistance. This leaves the window of eligibility very broad with regard to your residence.
However, though your primary residence may not hinder your eligibility, it is not exempt from estate recovery. Although you may qualify for Medicaid while you are alive, the state may still seize your home to help recover Medicaid funds spent on an assisted care facility. The home you were hoping to leave to your children may end up being sold by the state to pay for your nursing home care.
Income, Assets, and Resources
There are other eligibility requirements that one must consider before applying for Medicaid to assist with long-term care. Income and assets are also factors the state will consider when determining eligibility. Currently, in order to take advantage of Georgia Medicaid programs, an individual cannot earn more than $2,382 per month. Additionally, the value of their assets cannot exceed $2,000.
Because of this low asset amount, many will decide to transfer assets to a loved one when they realize they will need Medicaid. However, without proper planning and the right guidance, this can lead to financial tragedy.
Each state has different income levels and asset limits that are subject to change over the years. An experienced Medicaid attorney understands these laws. In order to help avoid a financial disaster, he or she can guide clients to make the best decisions regarding their assets and long-term care.
The Dreaded “Medicaid Look Back Period”
To prepare for people transferring their assets to loved ones in order to quickly qualify for Medicaid, Congress has established the Medicaid Look Back Period. When you apply for Medicaid assistance, the government looks back into your financial history to make sure that you are not taking advantage of the system.
The look back period covers 60 months prior to applying for Medicaid. If a person transfers any assets for an amount less than fair market value during that period, there is a penalty enforced. The penalty is not an amount of money. Rather, it is a period of time.
The Transfer Penalty
During the transfer penalty period, the person transferring assets is not eligible for Medicaid for a specific period of time. That period is one month for every $8,517 you transfer. That number is the number of months you do not qualify for Medicaid.
In the video below, elder law and medicaid attorney Jeffrey Williamson explains.
Trust an Experienced Medicaid Attorney
As you can see, Medicaid eligibility is complicated. Failure to properly understand the full scope of laws could end in the family inheritance being lost to long-term care facilities and Medicaid reimbursement.
At J. L. Williamson Law Group, our goal is to help you and your loved ones keep as much of your income and resources as possible. Our expert guidance can save the financial legacy you have worked hard to build. The best time to plan for that is now, before you need to go move into an assisted living facility.