Are you wondering if you’re eligible for Medicaid? There’s enough to stress about these days. The last thing you want to worry about is if you’ll receive the care that you need in a hospital.
If you’re not sure what Medicaid is, it’s a medical assistance program that’s jointly funded through the state and federal governments. In Georgia, the Department of Community Health is the administers of the program. This means that there are specific criteria to be eligible for it.
So what qualifies you for Medicaid in Georgia? If you want to apply, then make sure you’re eligible by following these expert tips before you submit your application.
What Qualifies You for Medicaid in Georgia?
There are a few essential criteria for applying for Medicaid in the state of Georgia. For starters, you need to be a resident of Georgia. Like most other Medicaid programs, you must also be a citizen, a U.S. national, legal alien, or a permanent resident of the country.
You must also need health care/insurance assistance and have your financial situation characterized as low or very low income.
In addition to this, there are other criteria you should be aware of. The Georgia Medicaid eligibility requirements that you must be one of the following:
- Responsible for a child eight years of age or younger
- Have a disability or a family member in your household with a disability
- Aged 65 years or older
Some Georgia seniors may even be eligible for one of the Medicaid long-term care programs. They have slightly different benefits and alternative eligibility requirements.
What Are the Medicaid Long-Term Care Programs?
Being eligible for the Medicaid long-term care programs does depend on your marital status. But the state of Georgia does provide multiple pathways to allow for eligibility. There are three programs that you can apply for.
Institutional/Nursing Home Medicaid
Anyone who is eligible for this benefit can receive this assistance. They are provided in nursing homes.
Medicaid Waivers/Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS)
This service has an enrollment cap. The state of Georgia limits how many participants can enroll in the program. Some of the offerings are provided at home, adult day care, and in assisted living facilities.
Regular Medicaid/Aged, Blind, and Disabled
This is another entitlement. It means if you meet the eligibility requirements, then you can receive benefits. Services are also included and can be provided at home or adult daycare.
If you don’t meet all the criteria, it doesn’t mean you’re not eligible for Georgia Medicaid. Before you take the Medicaid Eligibility Test, you should understand what some of the key definitions refer to. This will ensure that you respond to the questions accurately.
What Is the Definition of Income in the Application?
Fortunately, the definition of income for Medicaid eligibility purposes is relatively self-explanatory. Any payment that you receive gets counted. It can also come from any source.
Some of the examples of sources can include wages, alimony payments, pensions, Social Security Disability Income, Social Security Income, IRA withdrawals, and dividends from stocks. Next, you’ll need to work out how it applies to your marital status.
If only one spouse of a married couple is applying for nursing a home Medicaid or a waiver, then only the income of that applicant will count. The income of both spouses only applies if one of you is applying for aged, blind, and disabled Medicaid.
You should also be are of the Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance. This is the smallest amount of monthly income to which the non-applicant spouse gets entitled to. You’re allowed to transfer payments to the non-applicant spouse to ensure they have enough money to live.
What Is the Definition of Assets in the Application?
There are several assets you need to include in your applications. You should count cash, stocks, bonds, investments, credit union savings, checking accounts, and real estate that you don’t reside in as part of your asset register.
But you can exclude other assets to be still eligible for Medicaid. Some exemptions include personal belongings, household furnishings, vehicles, burial trusts, and your primary home provided that the equity value is under $595,000.
For married couples where just one spouse is applying for a nursing home Medicaid or waiver, the non-applicant spouse can retain a maximum of $128,640 of the joint assets. But this does not apply for aged, blind, and disabled Medicaid.
Georgia also has a Medicaid Look-Back Period. This dates back 60 days from when you submit your application. They will check to ensure no assets were sold or given away under fair market value.
How Do You Qualify If You’re Over the Limits?
If you’re over the age of 65 and don’t meet some of the eligibility criteria, then there are others you can qualify. There are some extra steps in order to be successful in receiving your benefits.
The first path you can take is the Aged, Blind, and Disabled Medically Needy Program. There is no maximum income limit to become a part of this program. If you have high medical bills, then the plan will cover the excess income to pay the hospital and medical fees, health insurance premiums, and medical supplies.
Qualified Income Trusts, or Miller Trusts, are for nursing home and Medicaid waiver applicants who are above the income limit but can’t afford to pay for long-term care. The income in excess of the Medicaid limit gets deposited into a trust.
If you’re above the income and asset limits and can’t afford the cost of care, then Medicaid Planning would be another option. You’ll work with a planning professional who can employ several strategies to help you receive Medicaid benefits.
Do You Need Help With Your Medicaid Application?
If you’re still unsure what qualifies you for Medicaid in Georgia, then contact us today to schedule an appointment. In addition to estate planning and elder law, we can help you navigate through complex applications and ensure you receive the benefits you’re entitled to.