Important 2018 Georgia Medicaid Updates

Important 2018 Georgia Medicaid Updates

This month two important changes went into effect regarding Georgia Nursing Home Medicaid. The first affects Georgia Medicaid recipients “personal needs allowance”. The second changes how the State of Georgia pursues “estate recovery” against deceased Georgia Medicaid recipients.

Changes to the Personal Needs Allowance

Each Georgia Nursing Home Medicaid recipient has a “patient liability” which is the amount that person owes their nursing home each month. This amount is calculated based on their monthly income. Certain deductions are allowed against their monthly income when calculating their patient liability. One such deduction is a “personal needs allowance” intended for use for the recipient’s personal needs. For many years this amount was $50. On July 1, 2018, the State of Georgia increased the “personal needs allowance” to $65. This will cause the patient liability for each Nursing Home Medicaid recipient to decrease by $15.

Changes to Georgia Estate Recovery 

Prior Georgia Estate Recovery law exempted estates of deceased Medicaid recipients if the estate is valued at $25,000 or less. If the estate was valued at $25,001 then the Estate Recovery lien would apply to the entire $25,001. A new law that also went into effect on July 1 2018 also exempts the first $25,000 of the estate from Estate Recovery. So, under the new law, if the estate is valued at $25,001, the Estate Recovery lien only applies to $1.

Here is a link to an article in the AJC discussing the Estate Recovery change in more detail Estate Recovery article.