Seniors ages 65 years and older as well as people with disabilities may qualify for home health care financial assistance in Virginia if they meet the Medicaid income restrictions and prove their need for medical care. Assistance is provided through Virginia’s Cardinal Care, formally called the Commonwealth Coordinated Care Plus waiver program, which is designed to keep seniors in their own homes rather than in a nursing facility while providing necessary care.

Requirements for Cardinal Care

Seniors who want to enroll in the Cardinal Care waiver program must be at least 65 years old and residents of the state of Virginia as well as U.S. citizens or legal aliens. They must also have a valid Social Security Number. Since this program is administered under Medicaid, the Medicaid income limitations apply. Single people are limited to $30,276 in income each year along with $2,000 in assets. Married couples must adhere to an annual income limit of $60,552 with $4,000 in assets.

When financial eligibility is proven, seniors can apply for financial assistance with home health care. This program is designed as an alternative to nursing home placement, so seniors must receive a screening to determine their need for care and ability to remain at home. This will help qualify them for full eligibility and set the amount of the waiver.

Cardinal Care Services

When seniors are accepted into the Cardinal Care program, they may choose from consumer-directed or agency personal care services. In the former, seniors have a chance to select and manage their own caregivers. In the latter, seniors work with a caregiver agency to plan their care. Each recipient is assigned a particular number of hours per week for personal care and or private-duty nursing depending on individual needs.

Services under Cardinal Care may include everything from assistance with the activities of daily living (such as bathing and dressing) to more complex nursing care for medical conditions. A care coordinator will assist in creating a care plan to make sure that seniors’ needs are met. The overall goal is to help seniors remain safely in their own homes with the right level of care.