by Diane Weinberg

In July 2018, the Department of Community Health increased the limit of the personal needs allowance (PNA) for individuals receiving Nursing Home Medicaid by 30 percent – from $50/month to $65/month. This announcement is exciting because it is the first increase in the PNA since 2006.

Three other notable increases to the financial limits this year became effective in April 2018:

1. The average Nursing Home Private Pay Billing Rate in Georgia increased from $6,175 to $6,707 per month. This figure is important because it is used to determine how long someone who has gifted an asset for less than fair market value must privately pay for nursing home care when that individual is otherwise eligible for nursing home care.

2. The income limit for Qualified Medicare Beneficiary increased from $1,005 to $1,012.

3. The Dependent Family Member Need Standard increased from $2,032.50 to $2,058.00. Under Medicaid, the client can “divert” part of their income to the dependent child, thereby reducing the client’s monthly co-payment to Medicaid for these waivered services. My younger clients who receive Medicaid waiver services and who live with their dependent children at home find this diversion to be invaluable. They can preserve most of their disability income for the benefit of their children while receiving the services that they need so that they can live at home and see and enjoy their children every day.

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