Traditionally, Medicaid has paid for long-term care in a nursing home, but because most individuals would rather be cared for at home and home care is cheaper, all 50 states now have Medicaid programs that offer at least some home care. Fortunately, Indiana’s Medicaid program has included a home care benefit for a number of years. In addition, the Indiana Medicaid program will even pay family members for providing care at home.
Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that provides health insurance coverage to low-income children, seniors, and people with disabilities. In addition, it covers care in a nursing home for those who qualify. Medicaid home care services are typically provided through home- and community-based services “waiver” programs to individuals who need a high level of care, but who would like to remain at home. The waiver program in Indiana that most aging and disabled individuals qualify is the Aged and Disabled Waiver.
To qualify for the Aged and Disabled Waiver, an individual must first pass a medical screen conducted by the individual’s local Area Aging Agency. The individual must then have income and assets below program limits. An elder law attorney can assist with the medical screen process and establish a legal plan to protect assets and bring income and assets below program limits.
Home care items and services that Medicaid may pay under the Aged and Disabled Waiver include the following:
- In-home health care
- Personal care services, such as help bathing, eating, and moving
- Home care services, including help with household chores like shopping or laundry
- Caregiver support
- Minor modifications to the home to make it accessible
- Medical equipment
- Respite Care
Besides home care, the Aged and Disabled Waiver also covers the following alternatives to nursing home care:
- Adult Day Care
- Adult Family Care
- Assisted Living Care
In Indiana it is also possible for family members to get paid for providing care to a Medicaid recipient. The Medicaid applicant must apply for Medicaid and select a program that allows the recipient to choose his or her own caregiver, called “self-directed care.” The exception is that Indiana does not allow spouses to be paid by Medicaid.
To review you or your loved one’s Medicaid home care options and other Medicaid covered long-term care alternatives to a nursing home, contact us today.
Jeff is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation, a distinction held by only a handful of lawyers in Indiana. For almost 20 years, he has focused on elder law, estate planning, long-term care planning, Medicaid planning, Veterans Affairs benefits planning, special needs planning, guardianships, and estate administration.