Maine pays for home health care if seniors earn below $2,742 per month. Home health is paid for through Maine’s Medicaid program, called MaineCare, allowing eligible seniors to get the services they need to safely stay in their own homes. Maine offers several programs covering home health, including the Medicaid Waiver for Elderly and Adults with Physical Disabilities and MaineCare Private Duty Nursing Services. 

MaineCare Services

In addition to home health, MaineCare provides many other non-medical services for seniors. Some programs allow seniors to self-direct their care and hire their own caregiver, which can include a family member or friend. Spouses usually can’t be hired as a caregiver. Exact services vary by program, but may include:

  • Help with housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation and grocery shopping
  • Handyman services
  • Assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, feeding, toileting and dressing
  • Adult day care in a community setting
  • Mental health support
  • Physical, occupational and speech therapies
  • Roll-in showers, grab bars, wheelchair ramps and other home modifications
  • Personal emergency alert system
  • Transportation
  • Help with moving from a nursing facility back into the home
  • Caregiver respite

MaineCare Eligibility for the Elderly

To qualify for MaineCare, there are several eligibility requirements that must be met. Compared to regular Medicaid, requirements for MaineCare Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers are less strict. Most MaineCare HCBS programs have an income cap of $2,742 per month. There is also an asset limit of $2,000 per applicant, but Maine allows an exemption of $8,000 in savings for an individual and $12,000 for a couple. Assets that count toward the limit include cash, bank accounts, investments and most real estate. Exempted items include your primary home, personal belongings, household furnishings, up to two vehicles and prepaid burial contracts up to $12,000.

Depending on the program, seniors may also need to meet nursing home level of care requirements. This means seniors meet nursing home placement criteria and are at risk of institutionalization. Seniors may qualify if they:

  • Have medical needs, such as oxygen dependency, wound care and catheter care, that can’t be managed personally
  • Need help with at least one activity of daily living
  • Have behavioral problems, such as aggressiveness and impulsiveness
  • Have impaired cognitive functioning due to Alzheimer’s and related dementia