The soaring costs of long-term care throughout Georgia and the rest of the country make it difficult for many people to plan for a safe and secure future as they grow older or deal with an ongoing disability. Thousands of vulnerable people find themselves stuck in the "donut hole" each year, making too much income to qualify for government assistance while the ongoing costs of care drain away their finances.
The existence of Medicaid is widely known in Georgia, but the details of this program, especially for senior citizens can often be hazy and mysterious. This post will review the eligibility requirements for this important program for people over 65.
The state of Georgia has several programs intended to ease the burden of its elderly citizens in paying for their daily living needs. While Georgia's programs are not always as generous as federal programs or the programs of neighboring states, understanding these programs can provide needed assistance in seeking proper care for the elderly.
Many Georgia residents require medical care that they cannot fully pay for. Medicaid was created to help low income people obtain proper medical care, but if a person's income is above the Medicaid limit, they are not eligible for the federal benefits. Georgia has created a legal device called a Qualified Income Trust that helps these individuals become eligible for Nursing Facility, Hospice and Home and Community Based Services and Medicaid.
Many people in Georgia are unable to care for themselves. Some have been disabled since their youth, others have been disabled by an accident or disease and still others are incapacitated by infirmities of old age, such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Despite a person's incapacity, that person may have legal or financial obligations. Managing these relationships can place a heavy burden on family members or friends, and Georgia has created two types of relationships that allow another person to care for or make decisions for a person who is unable to do so: guardianships and conservatorships.
Planning for the future is something we have been taught to do since we were children. Plan for college. Plan for a career. Plan for your family. Plan for retirement. The plan we concentrate least on is the one for after retirement: The future that requires long-term care possibly in a nursing facility.