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The Medicaid Waiver and What You Should Know

For people who have been placed in the HBCS or Medicaid Waiver program, the major benefit is that they can stay home or in a community care environment rather than going to a home care facility. Older people prefer to stay in the home that they have always lived in for so many years to maintain their quality of life. To these seniors, home is where they feel most comfortable because the environment is safe and familiar to them. Most would prefer to stay in their homes rather than being sent to a nursing home; even though, this is sometimes the best option. Many experts think, however, that staying in their homes causes seniors to have a faster recovery time in the event of surgery or an injury. It also tends to improve their mental health and reduces instances of dementia.

Long Term Care

In addition, long term care tends to place a lot of financial burden on the aged because, at the milestone in their lives, most depend on social security and Medicaid. They have limited resources and many have reduced income. The United States has programs that help people who need long term care. The Medicaid Waiver is also known as the Home and Community-Based Services Program (HBCS) and it was initiated to help older folks stay home and receive the same care they would if placed in a nursing home or other home care facility. For many people, the process can be confusing to navigate. So, let’s see if we can dive in and get some basic details sorted through so you can understand.

The Short Explanation          

What is Medicaid? Well, this can be explained as a state and federal program; providing healthcare coverage to a specific group of individuals who are limited in resources and income. Be mindful that Medicaid is not the same thing as Medicare. These are both government programs, but they serve the needs of different groups. In addition, they receive funding from different government departments. The federally run Medicare program serves people over age 65 and also disabled individuals. Medicaid on the other hand is state-funded and serves those who are eligible for personal home care. Some individuals can be eligible for both programs.

Defining Medicaid Waivers

What is the Medicaid waiver? This provision is a law passed, which gives the federal government the right to waive its existing application rules for individuals who need personal home care. The program helps the elderly and pregnant women to received reduced medical costs, improvement of home care, and expanded health coverage. Because of Medicaid waivers, states are able to provide eligible residents with the required long term coverage.

The Services Offered

The people accepted into this state program also receive non-medical care when needed as well as personal home care, which could include:

  • Personal home health care
  • Hot meal delivered daily
  • Delivery of medical equipment and supplies
  • A nurse on hand
  • Household chores such as cleaning and laundry
  • Shopping
  • Counseling
  • Case management
  • Transportation
  • Senior center accessibility
  • Adult daycare

Medicaid waiver provides other services, but all are considered depending on the particular case of the individual. Each state has its own rules, guidelines, and laws.