News You Can Use – What You Need to Know About SOURCE
How Can SOURCE Help You?
A Medicaid waiver is for persons with limited financial resources who wish to live at home or in assisted living. Sometimes, Medicaid will pay for care in those locations if it can be obtained at a lower cost than in a nursing home. As a result, this is when a Medicaid Waiver is issued.
SOURCE is an acronym for Service Options Using Resources in a Community Environment. When a senior has low income and is qualified, SOURCE helps cover the costs of both medical care and non-medical personal care. It is designed for frail, elderly, and disabled Georgians who require the level of care typically provided in a nursing home. Therefore, this program allows eligible individuals to receive care in their homes or communities. It can help them avoid long-term nursing home care.
As of 2019, approximately 19,000 Georgians receive assistance under SOURCE. Although capacity has increased, it is still possible for a waiting list to exist. For an individual on Medicaid, he or she can expect enrollment time to last two months. To locate the Waiver, look at Medicaid’s Elderly and Disabled Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver which is administered by the Georgia Department of Community Health.
Who is eligible for a SOURCE waiver? The individual must be 65 years of age and older or physically disabled if under the age of 65. In order to qualify, the individual must need nursing home level care based on an assessment. Financially, income and savings are also factored in. In 2019, the income limit for an individual is $2313 per month. This is three times the Supplemental Security Income/Federal Benefit Rate. A married applicant’s income is counted, as long as his/her spouse is not also applying for Medicaid. A monthly maintenance needs allowance by the applicant’s spouse can be transferred to the healthy spouse in the current amount of $3,160.50.
When it comes to assets, the individual limit is $2,000. Some assets are exempt such as: the applicant’s home, the land the home is situated on (as long as the applicant or spouse lives in the home) and the equity value of the home is under $585,000. There are other exempt assets, such as: burial contracts, automobile, life insurance, household goods, and personal items. What is counted includes cash on hand, bank accounts (both checking and savings), liquid investments and retirement accounts. Couples’ assets are considered joint while income is individual. The Community Spouse Resource Allowance includes that the individual retirement account of the applicant’s spouse is not counted and the non-applicant spouse is permitted to retain up to $226,420 in financial resources. Click here for information on joint assets.
Over the Assets Limit?
Can you receive Medicaid if your income or assets are over the limits? Georgia’s Medically Needy Medicaid program allows persons with exceptionally high medical and care costs to be considered. Some people choose to restructure their finances through the creation of Medicaid exempt trusts and annuities. This is so that their countable income and assets fall within the acceptable limits. If you care considering this route, be sure to seek legal and financial planning assistance.
SOURCE benefits are determined on a case-by-case basis and include such services as:
- 24-hour Medical Access
- Skilled Nursing Services
- Adult Day Health/ Adult Day Care
- Alternative Living Services
- Emergency Response Systems
- Home Delivered Meals and Services
- Personal Support Services
- Respite Care
If you are qualified and need a SOURCE Medicaid Waiver, Diversified Resources can assist and guide you. Be sure to reach out to us by completing the form on our Contact Us page. See theGeorgia Department of Community Health fact sheet here.