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Who is eligible for long-term care under Medicaid in Georgia?

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.

Medicaid for seniors in Georgia has three main programs: institutional/nursing home Medicaid, Medicaid Waivers/Home and Community based services, and Regular Medicaid, including people who are blind and disabled. Single people cannot have a monthly income of more than $2,250/month to be eligible for the first two. A married couple's income is limited to $3,375/month. If only one member of the couple files an application, the limit is $2,250. All income must be counted, including Social Security, disability income and IRA withdrawals.

A single applicant cannot have more than $2,000 in net assets. Assets include cash, stocks, bonds investments, savings and non-residential real estate. Some assets are exempt from this calculation, including personal belongings, household furnishings, and automobiles. If only one member of a couple applies, the non-applicant spouse can retain assets up to a maximum of $123,600. Georgia also reviews a person's financial history for the 60 months preceding the date on which the Medicaid application was made. The review checks to see whether assets were sold at less than fair market value or were given away.

People over 65 who are blind or disabled may also qualify for Medicaid benefits, even if their income exceeds the specified limits. Those who are over the specified limits may also qualify for Medicaid if they cannot afford required medical care.

Anyone who is considering seeking Medicaid assistance may wish to contact an attorney or other professional who is knowledgeable about the various options for people who do not meet the income or asset limitations.

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