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Would the Medicaid home care program benefit your loved one?

The Medicaid program provides low-income people with health insurance. It also pays if the patient requires long-term care in a nursing home.

But did you know that Medicare is also available for home care? Run by the state, this kind of program may be a great alternative to a nursing facility if your loved one can qualify.

A variety of services

Some of the in-home services Medicaid will pay for include:

  •         Home health care provided by doctors and nurses
  •         Personal care, such as assistance with bathing, eating and mobility
  •         Homemaker services for help with housekeeping, laundry and grocery shopping
  •         Helpful modifications to the home, such as a wheelchair ramp or walk-in bathtub
  •         Transportation to medical appointments
  •         Personal Emergency Response Service, which is electronic monitoring for people who live alone or spend a portion of their day alone

Family caregivers

Medicaid will pay family members to provide personal home care to their loved one. To start, he or she will apply to Medicaid. Once approved, the next step is to sign up for a program that provides payment for home care and permits Consumer Direction, meaning that the Medicaid recipient can choose his or her own caregivers. Note that New Jersey is one of 14 states that permits spouses to be caregivers.

Qualifying for MLTSS

The New Jersey plan is called Managed Long-Term Services and Supports, or MLTSS. To qualify, the recipient must be 65 or older; if younger, he or she must be disabled. The applicant must either need nursing-home-level assistance or require help to perform at least three daily living activities, such as bathing, walking or eating. Financial requirements for qualification are complex and a good subject for legal review.

Seeking help

Medicaid rules can be very confusing. However, if an elderly or disabled person in your family wishes to remain at home rather than move into a nursing home, you can rely on legal guidance to help you understand how this kind of program works with respect to home care, and how it could benefit your loved one.

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