Nursing Homes in Georgia
Seniors aged 65 and older account for 14.3% of Georgia’s population of 10,617,423, and there are 22,894 nursing home residents in the state. Skilled nursing facilities in Georgia provide 24/7 medical care, supervision and recreational programming for adults with complex medical needs that cannot be safely met in a less restrictive setting.
Georgia seniors can access high-quality acute and emergency health care service at over 170 hospitals including the nationally ranked Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville. The state is also home to a number of VA medical centers and clinics including the Atlanta VA Medical Center and the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center.
Genworth Financial’s 2020 Cost of Care Survey lists the average monthly cost of semiprivate nursing home care in Georgia at $6,722, while a private room in a skilled nursing facility runs about $7,173. This guide highlights nursing home care costs in Georgia, and how those costs compare to neighboring states. There’s also an overview of Medicaid and other programs that include nursing home benefits, links to free and low-cost resources for seniors and their families, and a summary of the state regulations regarding skilled nursing facilities.
The Cost of Nursing Home Care in Georgia
The average monthly cost of a semiprivate nursing home room in Georgia is $6,722, which is $1,034 below the national average rate of $7,756. Average rates in neighboring Alabama are slightly more affordable at $6,540, while the same level of care is costlier in Tennessee ($7,072), South Carolina ($7,298) and North Carolina ($7,300). Just south of Georgia, nursing home costs are significantly higher in Florida, where semiprivate care rates average $8,660 per month.
The United States
Throughout Georgia, nursing home rates range from $6,266 in Athens to $7,841 in Valdosta. Rates in Gainesville ($6,388), Augusta ($6,509) and Savannah ($6,540) are below the state average, while rates are above-average in Macon ($6,783), Atlanta ($6,950) and Dalton ($7,513).
Nursing home care is the highest level of long-term care in Georgia, and this type of care is geared towards those who need 24/7 medical support to manage complex chronic conditions. Seniors who opt to remain in their own homes while receiving support can expect to pay $1,355 per month for adult day health care services. This type of care generally involves nonmedical programming in a congregate setting on weekdays along with a nutritionally balanced daily lunch. 44 hours of weekly in-home care from a homemaker costs an average of $4,004 per month, and a home health aide is $4,099. Residential care in an assisted living facility costs an average of $3,500.
Adult Day Health Care
Home Health Aide
Assisted Living Facility
Does Medicaid Cover Nursing Home Care in Georgia?
Approximately 2,195,640 individuals are enrolled in Georgia state Medicaid as of July 2021. The program covers the costs associated with living in a nursing home as well as some limited personal care assistance. Specific services covered by Medicaid include grooming, bathing, chore help, meals, transportation and medication management. It also covers room and board and some medical costs, including the cost of medications and on-site medical monitoring and evaluations.
There are more than 310 nursing homes in the state of Georgia, all of which accept Medicaid. These facilities provide hospital-level care for seniors who require specialized care and are unable to live on their own. The Georgia Service Options Using Resources in a Community Environment (SOURCE) waiver helps pay for skilled nursing services, personal support services, respite care, adult day health, and physical, occupational and speech therapy. Seniors who are able to age in place in their own homes may apply for the Community Care Services Program (CCSP) which helps pay for personal care services like home-delivered meals, personal emergency response services, home health care, case management and financial management.
Medicaid Eligibility in Georgia
Institutional or nursing home Medicaid is an entitlement program in Georgia, meaning anyone who meets the minimum criteria may receive benefits. These benefits are only available to those who reside in a nursing home. Applicants get the same $30,276 income limit, so if two people apply, it doubles. However, asset limits run $2,000 for a single applicant, rising to $3,000 for a couple. If only one member of a couple needs nursing home care, the other member can have up to $137,400 in assets while the applicant can only have $2,000.
2022 Medicaid Income Limits for Seniors in Georgia
Annual Income Limits
(Only one person applying)
$2,000 for applicant & $137,400 for non-applicant
(Both people applying)
Aside from financials, there are several other eligibility requirements for Georgia Medicaid recipients.
- Must meet the required level of care
- Must already reside in a nursing home
- Must be a nursing home resident for at least 30 days
How to Apply for Medicaid in Georgia
There are several ways for seniors to apply for Medicaid in Georgia. The easiest way to apply is through the Georgia Gateway Customer Portal website. The website also makes it possible to manage and renew benefits, check the status of the application and report changes. Seniors may also call and apply by phone at (877) 423-4746, in person at any local Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) office or through the mail by completing the necessary forms and mailing them back to the Division of Family and Children Services. All forms may be requested by calling (877) 423-4746.
Information You Will Need
- A valid copy of your birth certificate or proof of identity and citizenship or immigration status
- Federal, state or local photo ID cards
- Social Security number for each person applying
- Paycheck stubs, payroll records or recent W-2 forms for the last four weeks
- Proof of income
- Current health insurance policies
- Life insurance policies
- Recent bank statements
- Most recent tax return
- Information on assets
Additional Medicaid Support & Resources in Georgia
The following is a list of available resources for individuals who need assistance in applying for Georgia Medicaid. Most also offer information on the waivers that are available to assist older adults when moving to a personal care home.
Benefits.gov is a federal site that helps individuals locate benefits and programs to help pay for healthcare and other services. The site provides a brief description of each program, including how to apply, eligibility requirements and contact information.
The Georgia Medicaid website offers information on the available programs for adults, families and individuals with disabilities. The site also contains the latest news and updates on Medicaid and its waivers and offers a list of providers and pharmacies that accept Medicaid as payment.
The Georgia Health Services Network is the network of medical providers in the state that accept Medicaid and the Medicaid waivers as payment for services. The network offers trained counselors who can answer questions about moving family members into long-term care facilities and can provide educational material on all the plan benefits.
Does Medicare Cover Nursing Home Care in Georgia?
Medicare provides limited coverage for short-term stays in a skilled nursing facility following a hospital stay, but seniors must meet a number of specific requirements. This benefit is available to beneficiaries who have been hospitalized for at least three days, excluding the date of discharge, so it’s most valuable for those who are recovering from an injury, illness or surgery.
Once seniors meet the hospitalization requirement, Medicare will pay for up to 100 days of skilled nursing per benefit period. The first 20 days are covered in full. Starting on day 21, beneficiaries must pay a daily coinsurance rate. After day 100, seniors are responsible for the entire cost.
What Does Medicare Cover?
Medicare covers a number of specific services, including:
- A semiprivate room
- Skilled nursing
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Audiologist care
- Medical supplies
- Medical social services
- Nutritional counseling
- Ambulance transportation
What Isn’t Covered by Medicare?
Medicare does not cover long-term custodial care that addresses seniors’ day-to-day needs. This includes help with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing and using medical equipment.
For more information about Medicare and when it covers Nursing Home Care, read our Guide to Nursing Homes.
Medicare Support & Resources in Georgia
There are several programs in Georgia that help seniors navigate the Medicare application process, including assistance understanding the different parts and coverage amounts. The following list contains free resources, including contact information.
(866) 552-4464 (Option 4)
GeorgiaCares is the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for Georgia. It provides free information on Medicare, including help understanding the available health plan choices and enrollment assistance. GeorgiaCares can also help seniors review Medicare summary notices and explanation of benefits and sort through medical bills.
The Georgia Division of Aging Services offers information on medical insurance, including Medicare, and connects seniors with financial assistance when paying for medical services.
The Department of Community Health helps seniors understand how Medicare works with other health services and can assist with applying for benefits
Empowerline is an Atlanta-based advocacy group that helps seniors understand their different insurance choices. Free counselors are available through email and chat and they also hold health insurance seminars throughout the city.
Other Financial Assistance Options for Nursing Home Care in Georgia
While Medicaid and Medicare are two of the most common programs used to pay for Nursing Home Care, there are other financial assistance options available, depending on your unique situation.
How to Apply
How It Works
Aid and Attendance
Learn more and apply online at va.gov.
Veterans who receive a VA pension may also be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit, a monthly cash allowance that veterans receive in addition to their standard pension amount. The benefit is intended for veterans in need of long-term care services and may be used towards paying for skilled nursing care.
Learn more about your options and how to apply at ftc.gov
If you own a home, you may be able to use a reverse mortgage to help pay for nursing care. Reverse mortgages are loans that one can take out against the value of their home, essentially converting some of the home's equity into cash. Reverse mortgage loans do need to be repaid with interest, typically within 12 months of receiving the loan.
Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance
Learn more about Long-Term Care Insurance and how to apply for a policy at acl.gov.
Seniors who already have long-term care insurance may be able to use it to pay for skilled nursing care. Most policies cover at least a portion of the cost, but it depends on the specific policy terms. Note that older adults who are already in need of skilled nursing care will not typically be eligible to sign up for a LTC insurance policy.
Free and Low-Cost Resources for Seniors in Georgia
Georgia offers many free and low-cost services to older adults to help improve their quality of life and make it possible to remain in their homes as long as possible. Many of these services assist seniors transitioning into nursing homes and assisted living.
The ARDC is a network of organizations that partner together to provide information on supports and services for seniors and those with disabilities who reside in the state. A full database of support and services is listed on the ARDC website to help seniors locate supports to serve their individual needs.
The Georgia Department of Veterans Services counsels, advises and assists prior military and their families receive the benefits and services they are entitled to. This help includes locating nursing homes, applying for benefits, counseling, education, training and explanations of available state benefits.
The Georgia Legal Services Program provides free and reduced-fee legal assistance to seniors ages 60 and older who meet specific income and resource requirements. The program services include legal information, legal counseling, case representation and legal education.
The Georgia Long-Term Care Ombudsman works to improve the quality of life for seniors in long-term care throughout the state. The ombudsman serves as an advocate for those in nursing homes and assisted living and intervenes when complaints have been filed. The ombudsman also makes regular visits to facilities to ensure laws and policies are being upheld.
The Alzheimer’s Association helps create community awareness about Alzheimer’s and other memory impairments and provides information to seniors on the available supports and services.
There are 12 local Area Agencies on Aging throughout the state that help seniors remain in their homes and communities for as long as possible. The agencies also provide support to families and caregivers. Programs include nutrition and wellness, insurance counseling, meals and transportation.
COVID-19 Rules for
Nursing Homes in Georgia
The following information is based on research done on several government websites, including dch.georgia.gov. These rules apply to Independent Living Communities and other types of senior living facilities. We’ve most recently updated this data on 2/3/2022, but since COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving pandemic, contact your local senior living facility or Area Agency on Aging for more specific and up-to-date information.
RULES FOR GEORGIA COMMUNITIES
Can I visit my relative in person if he/she wants emotional support from me?
Yes (Conditions Apply)
Can I visit my relative in person for end-of-life compassion care?
Will my loved one be required to self-quarantine after I visit him or her?
Do I need to wear PPE and/or a cloth mask if I do visit my relative in person?
Are Hairdressers and other non-medical contractors still allowed in senior living facilities?
Yes (Conditions Apply)
Does the state recommend or require that senior living facilities assist families with setting up virtual visit alternatives?
Are visitors being screened for elevated temperatures?
Are visitors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?
Outings & Social Activities
RULES FOR GEORGIA COMMUNITIES
Are residents allowed to leave the facility for non-medical reasons?
Yes (Conditions Apply)
Are residents of senior living facilities who leave and return required to self-quarantine?
No (Conditions Apply)
Are senior living facilities required to cancel all group outings?
Are residents still eating together in the dining hall?
Are facilities still allowed to host group activities within the community?
COVID-19 Safety Measures for Staff and Residents
RULES FOR GEORGIA COMMUNITIES
Are staff members and contractors being screened for elevated temperatures?
Are staff members and contractors being tested for Coronavirus?
Yes (Conditions Apply)
Are staff members and contractors being asked questions about health, travel, and potential virus contact?
Are staff members required to regularly screen residents for coronavirus symptoms?
Are residents relied on to screen themselves and self-report potential coronavirus symptoms?
Are staff members required to take residents’ temperatures?
Are residents being tested for coronavirus?
Yes (Conditions Apply)
Nursing Home Laws and Regulations in Georgia
Skilled nursing facilities, also known as nursing homes, are inspected, licensed and regulated by the Georgia Department of Community Health, Healthcare Facility Regulation office. Georgia’s Rules of Department of Community Health, Chapter 111-8-56, Healthcare Facility Regulation, Nursing Homes include regulations designed to ensure optimal health and safety for long-term care residents.
Nursing Homes Facilities in Georgia (76)
- Albany, GA (2)
- Athens, GA (5)
- Atlanta, GA (20)
- Augusta, GA (11)
- Austell, GA (3)
- Brunswick, GA (3)
- Buchanan, GA (2)
- Calhoun, GA (2)
- Canton, GA (3)
- Carrollton, GA (7)
- Cartersville, GA (3)
- Cleveland, GA (2)
- Columbus, GA (9)
- Commerce, GA (2)
- Conyers, GA (3)
- Cordele, GA (2)
- Covington, GA (2)
- Cumming, GA (2)
- Dahlonega, GA (2)
- Dalton, GA (4)
- Dawson, GA (2)
- Decatur, GA (6)
- Dublin, GA (3)
- Eastman, GA (2)
- Elberton, GA (4)
- Evans, GA (2)
- Fairburn, GA (3)
- Fitzgerald, GA (2)
- Forsyth, GA (2)
- Fort Oglethorpe, GA (3)
- Fort Valley, GA (3)
- Gainesville, GA (4)
- Glennville, GA (2)
- Glenwood, GA (2)
- Gray, GA (2)
- Greenville, GA (2)
- Griffin, GA (5)
- Hartwell, GA (2)
- Jasper, GA (2)
- Jeffersonville, GA (2)
- Jesup, GA (3)
- Jonesboro, GA (2)
- La Fayette, GA (2)
- Lagrange, GA (3)
- Lawrenceville, GA (4)
- Macon, GA (14)
- Madison, GA (2)
- Marietta, GA (7)
- Metter, GA (2)
- Midway, GA (2)
- Milledgeville, GA (4)
- Monroe, GA (2)
- Moultrie, GA (5)
- Newnan, GA (3)
- Ocilla, GA (2)
- Rockmart, GA (3)
- Rome, GA (9)
- Rossville, GA (2)
- Roswell, GA (2)
- Sandersville, GA (3)
- Savannah, GA (10)
- Snellville, GA (2)
- Soperton, GA (2)
- Sparta, GA (2)
- Statesboro, GA (4)
- Suwanee, GA (2)
- Swainsboro, GA (4)
- Thomaston, GA (3)
- Thomasville, GA (5)
- Tifton, GA (3)
- Tucker, GA (3)
- Tybee Island, GA (4)
- Valdosta, GA (4)
- Vidalia, GA (2)
- Warner Robins, GA (3)
- Waycross, GA (2)