Kansas helps seniors pay for home health care. The state Medicaid program in Kansas, together with two federal waiver programs known as the Older Americans Act and the Elder Care Act, work together to ensure that low-income seniors in the state have access to home health care services.

Medicaid in Kansas

Older adults in Kansas can sign up for Medicaid if they meet the income and asset limitations of the program. It is not necessary for seniors aged 65 and over to demonstrate a disability or specific medical need for care to enroll, which is a requirement for younger adults. Medicaid enrollees can get short-term home health care with a doctor’s recommendation and care plan.

Home health care through Medicaid includes all necessary medical supports, including home visits by paramedical professionals, such as home health aides and visiting nurses, as well as medical equipment and supplies. This is meant to be a short-term approach to meet seniors’ immediate needs with a minimum of delay. For more long-term home health care, seniors in Kansas generally have to qualify for a state waiver program.

The Older Americans Act

The Older Americans Act is the main home health care and in-home support services waiver in Kansas. This program helps seniors who need a nursing home level of care avoid residential placement by paying a state-approved agency for home health services, caregiver assistance and various other in-home supports. 

To qualify for the Older Americans Act in Kansas, seniors must meet the financial eligibility standards for Medicaid and be at least 60 years old. Applications can be submitted through a local Area Agency on Aging, rather than through a medical office or long-term care facility.

The Senior Care Act

The Senior Care Act is a more flexible waiver program than the Older Americans Act. It is intended for seniors who may not meet the financial threshold for receiving Medicaid or Older Americans Act services, but who still need home health care and in-home support. Applicants for a Senior Care Act waiver must submit their financial statements for review by the program and undergo a needs assessment. 

Seniors who are accepted into the Senior Care Act waiver may be asked to pay a share of the cost for their care. There is no fixed amount for this, and participants are charged on a sliding scale based on their ability to pay. Enrollees’ benefits are narrowly tailored to cover just the needs identified during the intake process, and they can be extended to cover some facility-based care, such as respite care or adult day health services.