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Resource & funding

/Resource & funding
Resource & funding2019-01-21T07:02:59+00:00

When it comes to stair lifts, people don’t tend to argue over the benefits.

  • Having a tough time taking the stairs?

    Use a stair lift to glide up or down with ease. Want to avoid a fall or injury? Stair lifts can virtually eliminate any risk associated with your staircase.

    For a lot of us, these prices are as steep as our staircase in the first place. We think, “Maybe I’ll settle for something cheaper online” or “I’ll just quit looking entirely.”

  • But cheaper isn’t necessarily better

    Sure, you might save some money short-term; but if the equipment or installation is faulty you’ll end up paying for more servicing needs in the future. And if you give up the hunt altogether, you’re not doing yourself any good either.

    But there’s good news! There are plenty of opportunities to find stair lift funding. The problem is knowing where to look. Here are a few helpful tips to find funding for your stair lift:

Assistance for Veterans

The Veteran’s Administration is somewhat more generous than Medicare when it comes to stair lifts or stair glides as they are referred to by the VA.  Wheelchair bound veterans and those who cannot otherwise manage the stairs in their homes as a result of a service connected disability can have stair lifts paid for by VA health care.  A home visit and a skills evaluation are both necessary prior to authorization.

There are also options for elderly veterans or their spouses who cannot manage stairs for reasons unrelated to their military service.  Many families are already aware of the VA Aid and Attendance benefit which can be used for care related services.  If not, more information is available here.  Lesser known are Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services (VD-HCBS).  These are VA Medical Center-specific programs that help veterans who would otherwise require nursing home level care by providing them with assistance that allows them to remain living in their homes.  Some of these services are left up to the veterans’ discretion, hence the phrase Veterans Directed.  Under VD-HCBS, should the veteran determine a stair lift is essential to helping them remain in their home, it would then be an allowable expense.

Yet another option for veterans are grants intended to accommodate for a disability.  The SHA Grant and the SAH Grant are intended for to pay for home modifications for persons with impaired vision or that have lost a limb.  Notably, HISA Grants, which are available to wider array of veterans, will not pay for stair-glides

The consequences of a staircases fall are not limited to physical injuries such as broken hips, wrists and concussions.  The psychological impact can create anxiety and limit mobility both of which have cascading negative effects on the health of the elderly.

  • Will the VA pay for a stairlift?

    – The VA health care will pay for a veteran’s stair lift who sustained injury while in service. For elderly veterans and/or their spouses who struggle with stairs unrelated to military duty there is the VA Aid and Attendance benefit. You must be eligible for a pension to collect this benefit

    – If you served in the military, the Veteran’s Administration (VA) is definitely the first place you should go to inquire about stair lift funding. The VA has a few different options available to fund your “stair glide,” as they’re called by the organization.

  • “Is your disability a result of your military service?”

    – Your stair lift may be covered through VA healthcare. Simply undergo a home visit and skills evaluation test to have them possibly fund your stair lift. Get in touch with your local VA to discuss your options!

    – ADD LINK: https://www.va.gov/directory/guide/home.asp?isflash=1

  • “Is your disability not related to military?”

    – If your condition isn’t related to your military service, you’ve still got funding opportunities (even if it’s for your spouse!). For one, there’s the VA Aid and Attendance Benefit. For more information on how to apply for this benefit, click here.

    – There are also state programs called Veterans Directed Home and Community Based Services (VD-HCBS) that provide mobility equipment assistance for veterans who wish to remain living in their homes. For more information on this program and how to apply, click here

  • “Interested in a grant?”

    – Grant opportunities can also assist you in paying for a stair lift. As a veteran, you might be qualified for a HISA Grant (Home Improvements and Structural Alterations), SHA Grant (Special Home Adaptation), or SAH Grant (Specially Adapted Housing). For more information on grant eligibility and how to apply, click here.

  • “Don’t know where your local VA is?”

    – For a full list of available locations and phone numbers, click here. You may also call 1-800-827-1000 toll-free to find the VA nearest you.

What is a Medicaid Waiver?

For persons with limited financial resources, Medicaid pays for nursing home care. For those 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. It does this through state-specific”Medicaid Waivers,” which are also called Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers or Waiver Funded Services.

Waiver Description

“Adult children of aging parents can be paid as caregivers”

Minnesota Medicaid’s Elderly Waiver (EW) pays for home and community-based services for people aged 65 years or older who require the level of medical care provided in a nursing home, but choose to reside in the community. This includes those residing in adult foster care homes and assisted living residences.

Under the Elderly Waiver, participants have the option of letting the state manage their care or they can self-direct their care through Consumer Directed Community v Supports. Under the Medicaid Cash and Counseling model, participants are given the flexibility to hire their own personal care providers, including family members. For example, the adult children of aging parents can be paid as caregivers. Financial Management Services providers are used to manage payroll services. In some cases, spouses and legal guardians can be paid to provide care.

Personal care is, by no means, the only service provided under this program. Other major benefits include assistance in making home modifications to better enable the participant to live independently and safely. Also included is support for adult day care, which can enable primary caregivers to work during the week.

Minnesota Medicaid is sometimes referred to as Medical Assistance, MA, or referred to incorrectly as MinnesotaCare. MinnesotaCare is a related, slightly more inclusive program.

Eligibility Guidelines

The EW has eligibility criteria related to the age, finances, and the health of the applicant. Applicants must be at least 65 years of age and have significant health challenges to the extent that they require aid to complete their daily personal tasks. This is equivalent to the level of care provided in nursing homes.

2018 Income and Asset Limits
Minnesota requires that elderly residents first qualify for Medical Assistance to access the benefits associated with this waiver. Waiver applicants have a monthly income limit of $2,250. This figure is equivalent to 300% of the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR). This is also referred to as the Special Income Standard (SIS). Married couples, with both spouses applying for the waiver, are considered as individual applicants when it comes to income. Therefore, each spouse is able to have up to $2,250 / month in income.

The asset limit for a single applicant is $3,000, excluding the value of their home (given the equity value is $572,000 or less and the applicant or their spouse lives in the home), primary vehicle, and irrevocable funeral trusts. Couples, with both spouses applying, can have up to $6,000 in assets, which includes savings and other near-cash resources. Unlike income, assets are considered jointly owned for married couples.

Options for Persons Exceeding the Limits
Persons over these financial limits can apply as ‘Medically Needy’ when they are unable to afford the cost of care for themselves or their loved ones. Often referred to as a “Spend-Down” program, the Minnesota Medically Needy Medicaid program allows individuals to become eligible once they’ve spent their income down to $804 per month. Medicaid program staff use a formula to deduct the applicant’s unreimbursed medical and care expenses from their income to determine whether they qualify under the Medically Needy option. Couples can have up to $1,083 after medical and care expense deductions from their monthly income.

While the Medically Needy pathway allows an option for spending down excess income, it unfortunately does not provide a means to spend down excess assets. However, Medicaid planning is another option for individuals who exceed the program’s strict financial criteria. It is possible to re-allocate some of one’s financial resources into a Medicaid compliant annuity. By doing so, one effectively lower their assets to a Medicaid eligible level. Persons wishing to take this approach should find assistance qualifying for Medicaid before submitting application paperwork.

Benefits and Services

Individuals are accessed upon enrollment and receive a customized plan of services. Waiver participants may receive any of the following benefits:

  • Adult Day Care

  • Adult Companion Services

  • Assisted Living

  • Case Management

  • Chore Services

  • Family Caregiver Education / Training

  • Home Delivered Meals

  • Home Health Aide

  • Home Modifications

  • Homemaker – housecleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, food preparation, etc.

  • Personal Care Assistant – assistance with Activities of Daily Living

  • Residential and Adult Foster Care

  • Respite Care

  • Skilled Nursing

  • Durable Medical Equipment

  • Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS)

  • Transitional Services

  • Transportation

How to Apply / Learn More

While this program is available statewide across Minnesota, there may be participation caps and, therefore, waiting lists may exist. However, at the time of this writing, it was confirmed that there is waiting lists.

One can learn more about or apply for the Elderly Waiver by clicking here or contacting their long-term care consultant in their county health office. Use the state directory of county and tribal health offices here. Or, seniors can consult the FAQs on this page to find links to the paper application for Medical Services.

There are other assistance programs available to Minnesota’s elderly population. The Group Residential Housing Program and the Personal Care Assistance Program are two alternatives worth investigating.

State-Based Programs

  • There are plenty of state-based programs that will provide assistance for a stair lift. The only problem is that eligibility varies for each program, so be sure to find out if you fall within the guidelines.

  • “Not sure where to begin searching for state-based programs?”

  • For a list of 34 programs offered in 22 states, click here. You can also ask around at your local Area Agency on Aging for tips on how to find funding for your stair lift.

  • local Area Agency on

  • http://www.dhs.state.mn.us/main/idcplg?IdcService=GET_DYNAMIC_CONVERSION&RevisionSelectionMethod=LatestReleased&dDocName=id_056766#Overview

  • https://mn.gov/dhs/people-we-serve/seniors/services/home-community/programs-and-services/elderly-waiver.jsp

The National Council for Aging Care:

National Council for Aging Care’s, Helping You Navigate Your Veteran Benefit Options

WEB LINK: benefits.va.gov

For persons with limited financial resources, Medicaid pays for nursing home care. For those 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. It does this through state-specific”Medicaid Waivers,” which are also called Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers or Waiver Funded Services.

Waiver Description

“Adult children of aging parents can be paid as caregivers”

Minnesota Medicaid’s Elderly Waiver (EW) pays for home and community-based services for people aged 65 years or older who require the level of medical care provided in a nursing home, but choose to reside in the community. This includes those residing in adult foster care homes and assisted living residences.

Under the Elderly Waiver, participants have the option of letting the state manage their care or they can self-direct their care through Consumer Directed Community v Supports. Under the Medicaid Cash and Counseling model, participants are given the flexibility to hire their own personal care providers, including family members. For example, the adult children of aging parents can be paid as caregivers. Financial Management Services providers are used to manage payroll services. In some cases, spouses and legal guardians can be paid to provide care.

Personal care is, by no means, the only service provided under this program. Other major benefits include assistance in making home modifications to better enable the participant to live independently and safely. Also included is support for adult day care, which can enable primary caregivers to work during the week.

Minnesota Medicaid is sometimes referred to as Medical Assistance, MA, or referred to incorrectly as MinnesotaCare. MinnesotaCare is a related, slightly more inclusive program.

Eligibility Guidelines

The EW has eligibility criteria related to the age, finances, and the health of the applicant. Applicants must be at least 65 years of age and have significant health challenges to the extent that they require aid to complete their daily personal tasks. This is equivalent to the level of care provided in nursing homes.

2018 Income and Asset Limits
Minnesota requires that elderly residents first qualify for Medical Assistance to access the benefits associated with this waiver. Waiver applicants have a monthly income limit of $2,250. This figure is equivalent to 300% of the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR). This is also referred to as the Special Income Standard (SIS). Married couples, with both spouses applying for the waiver, are considered as individual applicants when it comes to income. Therefore, each spouse is able to have up to $2,250 / month in income.

The asset limit for a single applicant is $3,000, excluding the value of their home (given the equity value is $572,000 or less and the applicant or their spouse lives in the home), primary vehicle, and irrevocable funeral trusts. Couples, with both spouses applying, can have up to $6,000 in assets, which includes savings and other near-cash resources. Unlike income, assets are considered jointly owned for married couples.

Options for Persons Exceeding the Limits
Persons over these financial limits can apply as ‘Medically Needy’ when they are unable to afford the cost of care for themselves or their loved ones. Often referred to as a “Spend-Down” program, the Minnesota Medically Needy Medicaid program allows individuals to become eligible once they’ve spent their income down to $804 per month. Medicaid program staff use a formula to deduct the applicant’s unreimbursed medical and care expenses from their income to determine whether they qualify under the Medically Needy option. Couples can have up to $1,083 after medical and care expense deductions from their monthly income.

While the Medically Needy pathway allows an option for spending down excess income, it unfortunately does not provide a means to spend down excess assets. However, Medicaid planning is another option for individuals who exceed the program’s strict financial criteria. It is possible to re-allocate some of one’s financial resources into a Medicaid compliant annuity. By doing so, one effectively lower their assets to a Medicaid eligible level. Persons wishing to take this approach should find assistance qualifying for Medicaid before submitting application paperwork.

Benefits and Services

Individuals are accessed upon enrollment and receive a customized plan of services. Waiver participants may receive any of the following benefits:

  • Adult Day Care

  • Adult Companion Services

  • Assisted Living

  • Case Management

  • Chore Services

  • Family Caregiver Education / Training

  • Home Delivered Meals

  • Home Health Aide

  • Home Modifications

  • Homemaker – housecleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, food preparation, etc.

  • Personal Care Assistant – assistance with Activities of Daily Living

  • Residential and Adult Foster Care

  • Respite Care

  • Skilled Nursing

  • Durable Medical Equipment

  • Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS)

  • Transitional Services

  • Transportation

How to Apply / Learn More

While this program is available statewide across Minnesota, there may be participation caps and, therefore, waiting lists may exist. However, at the time of this writing, it was confirmed that there is waiting lists.

One can learn more about or apply for the Elderly Waiver by clicking here or contacting their long-term care consultant in their county health office. Use the state directory of county and tribal health offices here. Or, seniors can consult the FAQs on this page to find links to the paper application for Medical Services.

There are other assistance programs available to Minnesota’s elderly population. The Group Residential Housing Program and the Personal Care Assistance Program are two alternatives worth investigating.

Medicare’s Policy on Stair Lifts

Does Medicare cover the cost of stair lifts?  It is logical to begin here as it is a common question relevant to most American seniors. The short, uncomplicated answer is, for all practical purposes, Medicare does not pay for stair lifts.

The one possible exception to this rule is Medicare might pay for a small portion of the cost if the stair lift has an elevating seat which helps the rider to sit down and get up from the chair safely.  However, such a feature would only be available in a high-end stair chair which would cost considerably more than the amount Medicare would reimburse the purchaser.  In other words, the amount of financial assistance would be less than the additional cost for a stair lift which has that feature.

Medicare supplemental insurance policies also do not cover stair lifts.  These policies are intended to help with co-payments and deductibles for goods and services covered by Medicare.  Since, Medicare does not help, neither would a Supplemental or Medigap policy.

Are stair lifts covered by health insurance?

Unfortunately, Medicare, which is insurance that provided by the federal government for elder people, does not cover stair chair lifts. A stair chair lift is classified as a “home modification” by Medicare instead of a “durable medicalequipment”.

 Medicaid Coverage

As Medicaid policies are different in every state, it is difficult to make a general statement about Medicaid’s coverage of stair lifts. Furthermore, Medicaid offers multiple programs in each state, making the answer still more complicated. However, if we limit the discussion to Medicaid’s policy for the elderly and / or disabled who are living in their homes, the probable answer is yes, Medicaid will likely cover the cost for medically necessary, stair lifts provided they enable individuals to remain living in their homes and avoid nursing home placement.

To clarify, states wish to limit the number of persons who enter nursing homes paid for by Medicaid. Therefore, they are willing to provide financial assistance to help Medicaid eligible, nursing home qualified persons remain living at home. If the lack of a stair lift in one’s home would force them to move from the home, then it is likely Medicaid would pay.

If Medicaid in your state covers stair lifts, it will do so through your state’s Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers.  Waivers are Medicaid non-entitlement programs that help individuals who require a nursing home level of care to remain living at home.  Many Medicaid Waivers cover home modifications and the purchase and installation of a stair lift would be considered a home modification and therefore a covered benefit.  See a state by state list of HCBS Waivers for home modifications.

Another option is State Plan Medicaid, which may be thought of as regular Medicaid.  Regular Medicaid is an entitlement, but usually has more restrictive financial criteria when compared to Waivers.  Many states cover durable medical equipment (DME) under their state plan.  Under DME, they may cover mobility-enhancing equipment and a stair lift could be classified as such.  Medicaid would pay only for the most basic model and the program may cap the amount of assistance an individual can receive.  Therefore, state plan Medicaid program might not cover the full cost.

Minnesota Medicaid Elderly Waiver Program
Minnesota Consumer Support Grant (CSG) Program
Minnesota Community Access for Disability Inclusion Waiver

Medicaid non-entitlement programs

Medicaid provides long term care to seniors in nursing homes and in their home or “communities”.   It does so, three different ways.

1) Medicaid Nursing Home Care – This is also called “Medicaid Institutional Care” and is an entitlement program.  This means that anyone who is eligible financially and medically for nursing home care will receive nursing home care paid for by Medicaid, as long as an individual resides in a state certified Medicaid nursing home. This is true nationwide.

2) Medicaid HCBS Waivers / 1915 Waivers – Medicaid also provides nursing home level of care outside of nursing homes to individuals living in their homes or communities (meaning other people’s home, including adult foster care homes, or assisted living residences).  These programs are called “HCBS Waivers” (Home and Community Based Services Waivers) or 1915 Waivers.  Waivers are not entitlement programs.  These programs limit enrollment, so even if one meets the eligibility requirements, they are not guaranteed assistance and may have wait lists. All states have HCBS Waivers, but their benefits, eligibility requirements, enrollment limits, and even their names differ in every state.3) Regular Medicaid Programs – Also provided are long term care services to individuals in their homes and communities through their “Medicaid State Plans,” as opposed to through HCBS Waivers.  Medicaid State Plans are also referred to a “regular Medicaid” or simply “Medicaid.” The level of care provided is not “nursing home level of care,” but includes Personal Care Services and Home Health Care. These programs are entitlements and are sometimes referred to as “Community Entitlement Programs.”  The names of the programs, qualifications, and benefits are different in every state. Unfortunately, not all states offer Personal Care Services and Home Health Care. Some offer these services strictly through their Medicaid HCBS Waivers.

Minnesota Community Access for Disability Inclusion (CADI) Waiver

What is a Medicaid Waiver?
Medicaid Waivers, also known as Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers and Waiver Funded Services, allow qualifying program participants to receive services out of the nursing homes. Medicaid’s standard benefit is to pay for nursing home residential care. However, when available, Medicaid Waivers help to provide more options for individuals. The cost of the care outside of a nursing home needs to be less than the cost of care in a nursing home.

Program Description

The Minnesota Community Access for Disability Inclusion Waiver (CADI), formerly called the Community Alternatives for Disabled Individuals Waiver, is a statewide program that provides financial assistance to eligible individuals to help them with the cost of services that enable them to remain living independently. This program enables persons who would otherwise require nursing home admittance to continue living in their own home, a relative’s home, an adult foster care home, or an assisted living facility. Services include an array of benefits, including personal assistance, adult day care, homemaker services, respite, and home modifications.

While this program is intended for individuals under the age of 65 at the time of enrollment, a senior may either continue on this waiver after the age of 65, or enroll in the Minnesota Elderly Waiver.

CADI allows for Consumer Directed Community Supports (CDCS), which means it allows for consumer direction or self-direction, of certain services / benefits, such as vehicle and home modifications, and personal care services. This includes homemaker services, respite care, and assistance with day-to-day activities. Family members, such as adult children, may be hired given they are qualified for the necessary services. Spouses and other legal guardians are not eligible to be paid caregivers.

This waiver is administered by the Minnesota Department of Human Services Division of Disability Services.

Eligibility Guidelines

To be eligible for this wavier, there are multiple criteria that must be met.

Age and Disability
Minnesota residents must be under the age of 65, and must require a nursing home level of care. Individuals must be certified as disabled by the Social Security Administration, or via the state medical review team. Depending on the level of disability, it may be possible that early-onset Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia could qualify an individual as disabled. The individual must also require a greater level of support than is offered via Medical Assistance (MA), which is the Medicaid program for Minnesota for low-income residents.

Income and Assets
The CADI waiver also has income and asset requirements. Individual applicants cannot have an annual income greater than 95% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). As of 2018, this figure is $11,533 per year, or calculated monthly, the limit is $961. For married couples with both spouses as applicants, the annual income limit is $15,637. Calculated on a monthly basis, this figure equals $1,303.

The asset limits vary with the age of the candidate. For most single participants, the individual may have assets up to $3,000 in value, and married couples (both spouses as applicants), can retain up to $6,000 in assets. Make note, if married, assets are considered jointly owned even if only one spouse of the couple is applying for waiver services. However, there are spousal impoverishment rules in place to protect the non-applicant spouse, often referred to as the community spouse, from becoming impoverished. As of 2018, the non-applicant spouse can retain assets up to $123,600. Some assets are exempt, such as the applicant’s home, if the applicant (or their spouse) lives in the home and it is valued under $572,000.

Benefits and Services

The CADI Waiver includes many benefits and services in a variety of settings, which include the home of an eligible applicant, the home of a family member, a foster home, or an assisted living facility. Services are covered in these living environments, but the participant’s rent and basic living costs are not covered.

  • Adult Day Care / Adult Day Health

  • Case Management

  • Chore Services – snow removal, cleaning of gutters, etc.

  • Family Counseling / Training

  • Foster Care

  • Home / Vehicle Modifications – installation of lifts, ramps, widening of doorways, roll-in showers, grab bars, etc.

  • Home Meal Delivery

  • Homemaker Services – assistance with light housecleaning, laundry, shopping, meal preparation, etc.

  • Housing Access Coordination

  • Non-Medical Adult Companion Services

  • Night Supervision Services

  • Nursing Services / Home Health Aide

  • Personal Caregiving (live-in and out-of-home)

  • Personal Emergency Response System (PERS)

  • Residential Care – this program benefit will no longer be available as of 6/30/18

  • Respite Care – in-home or out-of-home

  • Specialized Equipment / Supplies – includes Durable Medical Equipment

  • Therapies – physical, occupational, speech, respiratory, behavioral

  • Transitional Services

  • Non-Medical Transportation

How to Apply / Learn More

For more information about the Minnesota CADI Waiver, visit the state’s webpage or call 866-267-7655.

To apply, contact your local Department of Human Services agency. Visit this page to find the office that serves your location. At the time of the last page update, there was no wait list for this waiver.

Modifications for Aging & Disabilities 

Introduction

To best understand how Medicaid can help with the cost of home modifications, it is helpful to begin with some definitions. Medicaid is a federal health insurance program for many different groups of Americans; this article focuses on Medicaid programs that assist the elderly, specifically.  While Medicaid is a federal program, each state administers their own Medicaid programs separately.  By home modifications we are referring to changes made to a home to accommodate for aging or disability challenges.  Typical modifications include bathroom & kitchen designs, wheelchair ramps and stair-lifts, but there are many other modifications for which Medicaid provides help.  Medicaid tends to draw the line at modifications that increase the value or the square footage of the home.

Overview of Medicaid Programs

Medicaid Waivers

Most states offer Medicaid programs that cover home modifications to enable elderly and / or disabled individuals to remain living in at home. To best understand the benefits and limitations of these programs, it helps to provide a historic perspective. Initially, Medicaid assistance for the elderly was provided only in nursing homes. In time, lawmakers recognized that it was both less expense to provide services at home and preferable for care recipients to remain at home rather than go into a nursing home. Thus, the concept of Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) was born. These programs are commonly referred to as Medicaid Waivers (or HCBS Waivers, 1915 Waivers and 1115 Waivers). Waivers offer a variety of in-home support programs, and financial support for home modifications that enable “aging in place” is very often an included benefit.

Some waivers pay for assistive technologies such as special equipment for a washroom and adaptive lighting. Other waivers pay for physical modifications to the home such as the addition of wheelchair ramps, stair-lifts, walk-in or wheelchair accessible bathtubs and showers. These modifications are more formally referred to as Environmental Accessibility Adaptations. Further examples include widening of internal spaces such as landings or doorways to accommodate for wheelchair access. Some waivers include resources for both technologies and modifications. In other words, both the hardware and the services to install the hardware.

Nursing home Medicaid is an entitlement, anyone eligible will receive care. Waivers, on the other hand, are not entitlements. Typically, these programs have limited enrollments and sometimes waiting lists exist for services.

Medicaid Managed Care Programs

Over time some states have replaced their waivers with Medicaid Managed Care programs. These managed care programs were usually required to continue offering the same benefits as the waivers they replaced. Therefore, home modifications continue to be a covered benefit even when a state switches to a managed Medicaid program.

Money Follows the Person Programs

These are Medicaid programs specifically intended for persons that are currently living in a nursing home but who wish to return to living in a private home (their own home or the home of family members or friends). These programs include support for home modifications that help the newly reintroduced individual to safely access the home. As of April 2018, 44 states and Washington DC have Money Follows the Person (MFP) Programs. It should be noted that very often these programs are given different names in each state. For example, the MFP program in West Virginia is called “Take Me Home, West Virginia”.

States with Money Follows the Person Programs in 2018 – AL, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV and the District of Columbia.

List of State Medicaid Programs that Cover Home Modifications

Medicaid programs are state specific; they can also be condition-specific and / or age-specific. In each state, they have different names. Our organization has researched and found the following states to have Medicaid programs that include some level of assistance for home modifications / environmental adaptations.  To be clear, this list is not comprehensive of all Medicaid programs that pay for home modifications but rather a comprehensive list of those programs that are relevant to the elderly.   As an example, those waivers which strictly serve developmentally disabled individuals have been excluded from this list.  Finally, some of the programs listed below are “consumer directed” meaning the beneficiary has the freedom to choose how they spend the financial assistance they receive and therefore can be used for home modifications even if the language of the waiver does not specific state that it includes home modifications.

Did You Know? For persons not Medicaid eligibility, there may be other state and federal programs that help pay for home modifications for aging in place. Read more or search for programs here.

2018 State Medicaid Programs with Coverage for Home Modifications

  • Alabama SAIL Waiver

  • Alabama Community Transition (ACT) Medicaid Waiver

  • Alaskans Living Independently (ALI) Waiver

  • Alaska Adults with Physical & Developmental Disabilities Waiver

  • Arkansas Independent Choices Program

  • Arkansas Choices in Homecare Waiver

  • Arizona Long Term Care Services (ALTCS)

  • Arizona Self Directed Attendant Care

  • California’s Multipurpose Senior Services Program

  • California Medi-Cal Nursing Facility / Acute Hospital (NF/AH) Waiver

  • Colorado Medicaid Waiver for the Elderly, Blind and Disabled

  • Connecticut Community First Choice Option

  • Connecticut Personal Care Attendant

  • Delaware (Diamond State) Health Plan Plus

  • District of Columbia EPD Waiver

  • Florida Statewide Managed Long Term Care

  • Idaho HCBS Aged & Disabled Medicaid Waiver

  • Indiana Aged and Disabled Medicaid Waiver

  • Iowa Medicaid HCBS Elderly Waiver

  • Iowa Health and Disability Waiver

  • Kansas HCBS Frail and Elderly (HCBS/FE) Waiver

  • Kentucky’s Home and Community Based (HCB) Waiver Program for Aged and Disabled

  • Louisiana Community Choices Waiver

  • Maine Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities Waiver

  • Maryland Medicaid Waiver for Older Adults

  • Maryland Community Pathways

  • Maryland Community First Choice Program

  • Maryland Increased Community Services Program

  • Mass-Health Frail Elder Home and Community-Based Services Waiver

  • Michigan Medicaid Choice Waiver Program

  • Michigan Health Link Program

  • Minnesota Medicaid Elderly Waiver Program

  • Minnesota Consumer Support Grant (CSG) Program

  • Minnesota Community Access for Disability Inclusion Waiver

  • Missouri Independent Living Waiver

  • Mississippi Independent Living Waiver

  • Montana Medicaid Home and Community Based Services Waiver

  • Nebraska Aged & Disabled Waiver

  • Nevada HCBW for Persons with Physical Disabilities

  • New Hampshire’s Choices for Independence Waiver

  • New Jersey Medicaid Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS)

  • New Jersey Personal Preference Program

  • New Mexico Centennial Care Community Benefit

  • New York Medicaid Managed Long Term Care

  • North Carolina Community Alternatives Program for Disabled Adults Waiver

  • North Dakota Medicaid Waiver for Aged and Disabled

  • Ohio MyCare Plan

  • Ohio PASSPORT Waiver

  • Oklahoma’s ADvantage Program Waiver

  • Oregon K Plan

  • Pennsylvania Services My Way

  • Pennsylvania Aging Waiver

  • Pennsylvania HealthChoices Program

  • Rhode Island Medicaid Personal Choice Program

  • Rhode Island Global Consumer Choice Compact Waiver

  • South Carolina Community Choices Healthy Connections (Medicaid) Waiver for the Aged

  • South Carolina Community Supports

  • South Dakota HCBS Waiver for the Elderly

  • Tennessee CHOICES in Long-Term Care

  • Texas Star Plus Medicaid Waiver

  • Utah Medicaid Aging Waiver for Individuals Age 65+

  • Utah New Choices Waiver

  • Vermont Global Commitment to Health Waiver

  • Vermont CFC Moderate Needs Group Services Program

  • Virginia Commonwealth Coordinated Care (CCC) Plus Waiver

  • Washington’s New Freedom Program

  • Washington Medicaid Alternative Care (MAC) Program

  • Washington Community Options Program Entry System Waiver

  • Washington Community First Choice Option

  • West Virginia Aged and Disabled Waiver

  • Wisconsin Medicaid IRIS Program

  • Wisconsin Family Care

Qualifying for Medicaid and HCBS Waivers

Long term care Medicaid programs for seniors have requirements that apply both to the financial situation and the health of the applicant. Eligibility criteria is specific to the state, the Medicaid waiver or program and even the living situation of the candidate. Having said that, typically Medicaid programs require that the individual need the level of care provided in a nursing home, intermediate care facility or require assistance to manage their activities of daily living. Financially, applicants are limited to $2,250 per month in income and $2,000 in countable resources (in 2018). Worth noting is that one’s home is not included as a countable asset provided the Medicaid applicant lives in the home. More information about Medicaid eligibility is available here and assistance determining one’s eligibility is available here.

Deduct those medical expenses!

If you’ve had a medical procedure, diagnostic work or any preventative treatment, you might have a medical deduction in store.
NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Internal Revenue Code Section 213(a)(1) tells us that you if you itemize, you can deduct as a medical expense amounts paid for the “diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease or for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body.”
Medical expenses are deductible on your 2012 Schedule A only to the extent that the total exceeds 7½ percent of your Adjusted Gross Income. If your AGI is $70,000, the first $5,250 of medical expenses is not deductible.

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If your total medical expenses for the year are $5,000 you get no deduction. If your medical expenses for the year total $6,000 you get a tax deduction of $750 ($6,000 less $5,250).

Medical deductions are not limited to costs involved for physical disorders, but include expenses relating to psychological and emotional disorders as well.

Neither the medical practitioner prescribing the treatment nor the method of treatment prescribed has to be American Medical Association-approved or sanctioned to claim a tax deduction, as long as the practitioner and treatment are valid within the patient’s religious or cultural context. Deductions for treatment by Christian Science Practitioners and Native American medicine men have been upheld by the IRS and the courts.

READ: Find out whether you can deduct medical travel

Deductible medical expenses include the non-reimbursed out-of-pocket costs of:

  • Changes to the residence of a handicapped individual to make it more “accessible,” such as entrance and exit ramps, a stairway chair lift, widening doors and hallways, installing railways, lowering or modifying counters and cabinets, modifying chairs and adjusting electrical outlets and fixtures. Adaptations to a motor vehicle to accommodate a handicapped person, such as hand controls and lifts, are also deductible.

  • Home improvements that provide a medical benefit. Deductions have been allowed for an elevator for a person with a heart condition. You can deduct the cost of the improvement less the amount of any resulting increase in the fair market value of the home.