Clarifying information regarding Medicaid for Georgia residents

Many Georgia elders have meager means with which to provide for their long-term care. It is not uncommon for aging men and women of low income to qualify for Medicaid, a national public health insurance program. Many people confuse this program with this program with Medicare. The latter is also insurance for those age 65 and beyond but does not pertain to income level in any way.

Medicaid involves a partnership between the federal government and individual states. Because state governments retain a lot of control over who is covered, how hospitals are to be paid and other issues, the program varies from state to state even though it is a federally based program. In some states, services, such as dental or eye care, physical therapy or prescription drugs may be covered under Medicaid insurance. 

Research shows that one of the greatest benefits of Medicaid is that recipients do not postpone or go without care because they are worried about cost, as often happens in situations where those in need of medical support are uninsured. In fact, researchers say recipients of this insurance have as much access to care as those who are covered under private insurance packages. Another benefit of the program is that it covers opioid addiction rehabilitation, for which there has been a greatly increased need in in Georgia and throughout the country in recent years.

Medicaid is federally and state financed. A federal formula determines how much financing each state receives. State and federal spending combined was close to $600 billion in 2017. Two-thirds of that spending was for seniors with disabilities. If a Georgia elder has questions regarding Medicaid or other long-term care planning issues, he or she can request a meeting with an experienced elder law attorney to obtain answers.

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