Medicaid Home Care

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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. This includes Florida. Even family members can get paid for providing care at home. 

Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that provides health insurance coverage individuals who meet medical, asset and income criteria, including care in a nursing home for those who qualify. Medicaid home care services are typically provided through home and community-based “waiver” programs to individuals who need a high level of care, but who would like to remain at home. 

Medicaid’s home care programs are state-run, and each state has different rules about how to qualify. Each state sets its own asset and income limits. For example, in 2019, in New York an applicant must have income that is lower than $845 a month and fewer than $15,150 in assets to qualify. But Minnesota’s income limit is $2,250 and its asset limit is $3,000, while Connecticut’s income limit is also $2,250 but its asset limit is just $1,600. In Florida, an individual can have up to $2,000 of countable assets (many assets are exempt) and up to $2,250 in gross monthly income.

States also vary widely in what services they provide. Some services that Medicaid may pay for 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

In most states it is 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, often called “consumer directed care.” Most states that allow paid family caregivers do not allow legal guardians and spouses to be paid by Medicaid, but a few states do. Some states will pay caregivers only if they do not live in the same house as the Medicaid recipient. Friends and family can also be paid through family care agreements.

If you have questions about Florida Medicaid and home care options, you should speak with an experienced Florida elder law attorney.