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Does Medicaid Cover Home Based Care?

Can Medicaid help me pay for care at my own home?

Shannon Miller, a Gainesville elder law attorney, discussing your options for home based care if you are on Medicaid. In recent years, we have begun to understand the importance of comfort, and how the elderly can benefit from receiving care in their own home. Can Medicaid help them afford this service?

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Medicaid does have some limited provision for home-based care right now. It’s extraordinarily difficult to qualify for. It’s completely underfunded at this point, but we’re hoping we’re going to see more services provided in the community. What that will mean for people is that they will be able to stay in their homes longer than they can right now. Sometimes we will even see people move from the nursing home setting back into the community with services being provided, not on a 24-hour care basis, but things like someone will come out once a week to provide bathing services; someone will be checking on you to provide medications; those types of limited services where people can function well enough in their community-based setting, sometimes with the help of family or other care providers.

The idea is that we are going to be transitioning more to home-based community care. Our hope is that it gets funded enough. We’re a little concerned that the waiting list will be something like we’re seeing in some of these other programs, but our hope is that those people who are transitioning from nursing home care out into the community will be highest up on that waiting list and they’ll get services first. Then, hopefully, what we’ll see will be a trickle down to allow those services to be provided for people coming the other way.

We delay people going into the nursing home by providing some of these mid-level services. It really will save us lots of money if we can implement that program properly.”

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