Medicaid’s long-term care coverage used to only pay for institutional care such as a nursing home. Now, Medicaid has programs that provide alternatives that you or a loved one may find more appealing.
The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing administers the Medicaid program in Colorado. State and federal governments jointly fund Medicaid, so your state of residence determines the available options and financial eligibility criteria.
Nursing home care
Medicaid still covers long-term care in nursing homes on the Medicaid-certified list of facilities. It is available to anyone who meets the eligibility requirements, including being over the age of 65, permanently disabled and having an income less than your state’s ceiling. The income ceiling depends on your marital status and whether one or both spouses are applying for care.
Home and community-based services
As an alternative to certified long-term care in nursing homes, Medicaid provides the option to receive long-term care in your home. You may also apply to receive care in the home of a family member or friend, who may receive support from the Medicaid program as an unpaid caregiver.
The Colorado Medicaid program also covers assisted living facilities which may help delay nursing home placement, allowing the elderly to maintain their independence longer and grow old with dignity.
If you or a loved one qualifies for Medicaid, the prospect of long-term care may look different than it once did. With some careful planning, you may also be able to protect some of your assets and still meet the income ceiling necessary for eligibility.