October 11, 2015

October 11, 2015
Will Medicaid cover in-home care?

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Sunday and I hope you are having a beary safe and great weekend so far. Dab the AIDS Bear is heading back home tomorrow after another very busy weekend doing events in Los Angeles. So stay tuned for more new pictures soon.

No matter your feelings about the Affordable Care Act, it has opened up new ways for seniors (and people on disability due to chronic and terminal illnesses) to receive Medicaid coverage for in-home care.

The law includes a provision for the Community First Choice Option, designed to provide community- and home-based services for recipients who are Medicaid-eligible.

Although not exhaustive, the general eligibility guidelines are simple:

•Seniors must have incomes that make them Medicaid-eligible. Depending on the state, that amount could be as high as 150 percent of the federal poverty limit.

•Seniors must meet a state determination that they would require skilled nursing care in a facility if they did not receive in-home care or community-based services.

States that participate in Community First must provide the services below (among others):

•Assistance with daily living tasks such as bathing, dressing and eating
•Assistance with other living tasks such as cleaning and shopping
•Training for care attendants
•Back-up systems (e.g. beepers) to maintain a continuity of care for seniors

States may also provide optional services such as funds to cover transition costs from a nursing facility to community-based or in-home care.

Home care and community-based services can be provided not only by agencies but family members as well. However, family members must meet definitions outlined by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Because this is a state-based plan, not all states may participate in the program. Be sure to check with your state's Medicaid office to learn more about the Community First Choice Option.

Hope you have a beary safe and great Sunday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab