Nursing home residents file suit to prevent loss of Medicaid benefits

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Six disabled nursing home residents are suing the state of Georgia to delay elimination of Medicaid benefits. They filed suit Monday in federal court to protest a rule set that is set to become effective Oct. 1.

The new rule, which the governor has delayed by 90 days, would eliminate the Nursing Home Medically Needed Medicaid program, which currently provides for the care of disabled Medicaid beneficiaries. More than 1,800 people are scheduled to lose benefits under the rule since they have incomes higher than $1,692 per month but cannot afford nursing care that typically costs twice or three times that amount, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Some of the affected beneficiaries are creating Miller trusts -- qualified income trusts – to lower their income enough to quality for Medicaid. But others, including those who filed suit, claim they do not have the means or wherewithal to do so.