Nursing home fees are so high that many families find themselves struggling to pay for care. Without the resources to pay, they turn to Medicaid, the government program that provides financial assistance for long term care for the elderly.
To qualify for Medicaid for long term care in Georgia, an individual is allowed to have $2,000 in assets. A married couple can have an additional $119,270. Certain assets are exempt while the recipient and spouse are alive, but after the Medicaid recipient and spouse both die, Georgia will implement “estate recovery” to get paid back what it has spent on the Medicaid recipient’s care from the exempt assets.
To discourage giving assets away in order to get down to the asset limits, there is a five year look back period. Assets given away during the five years before applying for Medicaid must be disclosed, and will result in a penalty period.
Although you can’t predict what will happen to your health in the next five years, and you can’t know if you will ever need nursing home care, there are 108 nursing homes in the metropolitan Atlanta area, and it’s likely the owners of those nursing homes are predicting their beds will continue to be filled by future residents. I’ve never met anyone who looked forward to moving to a nursing home, but I think it’s foolish to fail to plan for what may eventually happen.
It is possible and practical to plan ahead to preserve assets and still be able to receive Medicaid. Most of the people who plan over five years before needing nursing home care are not multi-millionaires. They are middle class people who have worked hard all their lives, been responsible citizens, and accumulated a nest egg. But they know what they have isn’t enough to pay $10,000 a month for nursing home care for an ill spouse, and still provide a decent lifestyle for the well spouse. They don’t want to lose everything they’ve worked for, and they don’t want to become a burden to their children.
It can be confusing figuring out exactly what you need to plan your future. That’s why we have created a Free Workshop to educate you on how you can protect your stuff in 3 easy steps. We invite you to register today and take the first step in planing to have protection for your long term care.