Centennial Care, New Mexico’s Medicaid program, can pay for home health care services for seniors who meet the qualifying criteria. The Community Benefit Program makes it possible for seniors who can be safely cared for at home to get the help they need and avoid going into a nursing home. The program can allow some seniors to self-direct their care, but all seniors, regardless of their condition, must use the services of an approved home health care agency for the first 120 days as a minimum.

What Does the Community Benefit Program Cover?

The Community Benefit Program supports seniors who require nursing home levels of care that can be delivered in their homes by registered and licensed nurses, therapists and home health aides. It’s a needs-based program, so the senior typically works with their care coordinator to determine the level and frequency of qualifying services. These often include visits from medical professionals to deliver injections, treat wounds and conduct speech, physical and occupational therapies. The home health aide’s role is to assist with activities of daily living, such as eating, toileting, bathing and personal care. They can also help around the home, including cooking meals.

Who is eligible for the Community Benefit Program?

To be eligible for the Community Benefit Program, the senior (and their household) must be considered low-income, which means being within the current percentage of the federal poverty guidelines at the time of their application. They will also need to provide evidence they’re at least 65 years of age, a U.S. citizen (or legal alien) and a New Mexico resident. Additionally, they must be assessed by a physician who can confirm they’re medically in need of care that can be safely provided at home.