Macon Nursing Home Planning Lawyer
Friendly and Client-Focused Elder Law and Medicaid Planning Support
Nursing care is overwhelmingly expensive; proper skilled nursing care in Georgia can cost $4,000 or more per month. As a result, Medicaid is an important resource for elders needing skilled nursing care. Qualifying for Medicaid benefits is another step, though, as eligibility is determined by the amount of assets applicants own and the monthly income they receive. Many families propose gifting assets to become eligible; however, Medicaid has specific and complicated rules regarding the gifting of assets. Effective legal counsel regarding the rules that apply to Medicaid issues can make a significant difference in an elder's quality of life.
Jen Haskins Law provides practical solutions to families caring for elders, including:
- Medicaid eligibility
- Financial concerns
- Asset protection
An effective Medicaid planning attorney can save you tens of thousands of dollars and avoid incurring burdensome and unnecessary penalties. Jen Haskins Law also has an in-house Medicaid application specialist who can help you fill out your application completely and accurately.
Schedule an initial consultation with Jen Haskins Law to learn more about your nursing home planning options. Assisting elders and families in Houston and Jones Counties and throughout Central Georgia.
Qualifying for Medicaid
Medicaid is one of the most common ways to help pay for nursing home care. To qualify for the program, though, you must meet the income limit, which looks at the size of your family. For instance, the maximum monthly income to be eligible for Medicaid is $2,895/month for a couple.
There is also a limit to the amount of assets you can possess to qualify for Medicaid. In Georgia, this limit is $2,000 for a single individual and $3,000 for a couple. The following assets, however, are exempt:
- your car or motor vehicle;
- household and personal belongings;
- one wedding and one engagement ring of any value;
- burial plots and pre-paid funeral expenses;
- a small life insurance policy;
- your home, if your spouse, minor child, or blind or disabled child resides in it; and
- your home, if you intend to return.
If your non-exempt assets exceed Georgia’s asset limit, you may still qualify for Medicaid coverage if you have spent enough on long-term care out of your own pocket to reach these limits (called “spending down”). Some families may look to gift assets to slim down the amount they have, but there are important rules to follow for this.
If you're spending down to qualify for Medicaid, you should beware of Medicaid’s rule that any asset transferred out of your name during the 5-year "look-back period" (from the date of your Medicaid application) can result in a penalty period during which you will not be eligible for Medicaid.
Using a Miller Trust for Eligibility
If you are not immediately eligible for Medicaid, you may become eligible by setting up a Miller Trust, also called a “Qualified Income Trust” (QIT). This is an income trust that primarily helps Medicaid applications whose incomes exceed the limit become eligible. In summary, a Miller Trust owns a bank account through which your income will pass each month, and the trustee will pay the approved medical expenses out of that trust.
Every month that Medicaid is needed, your income will be deposited into your Miller Trust account, and the nursing home bills will be paid using those funds. The account should zero out each month.
Nursing home planning involves a range of nuanced details, from determining what long-term care services you need to how you will afford this care. Jen Haskins Law is your one-stop shop for all your nursing home planning needs. The firm can help you apply for Medicaid benefits or organize your assets to become eligible. Nursing home costs can climb to the thousands per month; let Jennifer Moore help you meet these financial demands.
Schedule an initial consultation with Jen Haskins Law to learn more about how you can meet the costs of nursing care.
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Meet Our Attorney
8-Time Winner of Best of the Best
By the Macon Telegraph
Jennifer N. Moore
An award-winning attorney, Jennifer is a 1997 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Georgia College & State University, and a 2000 graduate of Mercer Law School. Jennifer also participated in the Nation's first Certificate in Advanced Legal Writing, Research and Drafting program at Mercer Law School.Click here to Read More
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In-House Medicaid Specialist