South Georgia lawyers help Medicaid Members - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia lawyers help Medicaid Members

July 24, 2006

Valdosta - A recent letter about the state's Medicaid Estate Recovery Program has caused concern and confusion among many senior citizens and their families.  "There was a lot of panic caused by the letter that went out from the state," said Estate Attorney John Bennett.

The letter stated qualified Medicaid members could have their house seized after death as reimbursement for long term care paid for by taxpayers.  Attorney Sam Greneker says this letter caused some Georgians to pull family members out of nursing homes, senior centers, and Medicaid altogether.

"People are pulling family members out and of course at that point, the family members have to become central care givers and often that's an elderly spouse who is not equipped to do that," added medicaid and elder law attorney Sam Greneker.

Greneker and Bennett are encouraging people to seek advice and counseling before taking these drastic measures.  "First we would find out what their fear is. What their afraid of and usually, if it's mother's going to have to leave the nursing home of mother's not going to be eligible for the nursing home than we take them through the steps of qualification," said Bennett.

A bill has been approved by the state and is waiting to be passed by the federal  government.  If approved, the bill will help protect the estates of more Medicaid members.

State officials believe the approval or veto of Senate Bill 572 is imminent.