Minnesota pays for home care through the Elderly Waiver (EW) program, which is a part of the state’s Medicaid benefit, known as Medical Assistance. Seniors who qualify for Medical Assistance can get nursing home care, durable medical equipment and home health services with a doctor’s recommendation.

The Elderly Waiver in Minnesota

Seniors in Minnesota who meet the income and asset requirements for Medical Assistance may be able to get home health visits under the Elderly Waiver. The EW program helps reduce nursing home admissions by paying home health aides from authorized agencies to visit seniors at home and provide paramedical services. The program also helps pay for durable medical equipment, consumable medical supplies and various other necessary supports. To enroll in the EW program, seniors must participate in Medical Assistance and have a medical need for home health services. Intake workers may perform a needs assessment that includes a home visit to determine how best to meet all of the beneficiary’s needs.

Other Waivers for Medical Assistance

Minnesota operates another waiver program, known as Community Access for Disability Inclusion (CADI). CADI is very similar to EW, except that it’s open to adults with disabilities who are under 65, and it allows for various non-medical forms of assistance such as caregiver support in addition to home health services.

Minnesota Personal Care Assistance (PCA)

Seniors enrolled in either the EW or CADI waivers can choose to receive their benefits through Personal Care Assistance. PCA is not a waiver in itself, but it is a beneficiary-directed method for receiving care under either waiver. By enrolling in PCA, seniors with a waiver can choose to direct payment for their home health care directly as the manager of their own home health worker rather than having to rely on an agency for hiring, retention and scheduling authority.