Seniors ages 65 and over (or people who are disabled) who meet Medicaid’s income limitations and are accepted into the Elderly Waiver program may qualify for home health care financial assistance in Iowa. The Elderly Waiver is part of the Home and Community Based Services Waiver that is designed to help seniors remain in their own homes and receive the care they need.

Qualifications for the Elderly Waiver

The Elderly Waiver program is accessible to seniors aged 65 and over who are residents of Iowa and either U.S. citizens or legal aliens. Because the Elderly Waiver is administered under the Medicaid program, seniors must meet Medicaid’s income limitations. Single people must have an annual income that does not exceed $10,092, according to 2022 limits. This works out to about $840 per month. Further, the limit on assets is $2,000. For a married couple, the income limit rises to $15,132 per year or $1,261 per month with an asset limit of $3,000.

Seniors who wish to receive home health care through the Elderly Waiver program must also prove that they need nursing care or skilled care. This is typically determined through an assessment by the Medical Services Unit of Medicaid. The amount of the waiver is based on a senior’s needs and is calculated in dollar amount or number of units.

Services Offered Under the Elderly Waiver

The Elderly Waiver pays for a wide variety of home health care services for seniors. Seniors may choose to receive a home health aide for personal care assistance, mobility aide and medication management. Nursing care is another option for seniors with more complex medical conditions. In-home nursing care may include incontinence management, medication administration, care coordination and health monitoring.

Some seniors may choose the Consumer-Directed Attendant Care (CDAC) option to access a combination of skilled and unskilled services based on their needs. CDAC allows for flexibility to create a personalized package of medication assistance, health monitoring, specialized care (like IV therapy, tube feedings or catheter care), assistance with daily living activities, transfers, housekeeping, meal preparation and cognitive assistance. A case manager assists with creating a care plan that meets the senior’s needs.