Using Medicaid to Pay for Assisted Living

Medicaidimage.jpg
All Rights Reserved

More than 70 million people rely on Medicaid for healthcare coverage. If your loved one qualifies for Medicaid, he or she may be able to apply for waivers that can pay for assisted living care services (often called Home and Community Based Services state waivers or HCBS waivers). In a few states, you can even use these Medicaid waivers to pay for room and board.

But not all assisted living facilities accept Medicaid as a form of payment. So how do you find assisted living facilities that take Medicaid? If you’re doing your own research, some states do offer a provider list or a searchable directory but they can be hard to find online. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of these resources in the table below to help you find local assisted living facilities that take Medicaid.

Keep in mind your local area agency on aging is often a great resource as well for questions about Medicaid and assisted living. Case managers can assess your loved one’s needs, work with you on financial planning, and help you put together a care plan that fits your senior’s medical needs.

Medicaid assisted living providers by state

| State | Assisted living facilities that accept Medicaid | Use Medicaid to cover room & board? | Use Medicaid to cover care services? | | Alabama | List not available | No | No | | Alaska | Directory search | No | Yes | | Arizona | List not available | No | Yes | | Arkansas | Provider list | Yes | Yes | | California | Provider list | No | Yes | | Colorado | List not available | No | Yes | | Connecticut | Provider list | No | Yes | | Delaware | List not available | No | Yes | | DC | Provider list | Yes | Yes | | | Florida | Directory search (filter by advanced Medicaid options) | No | Yes | | | Georgia | Directory search (filter by Home/Community Services as provider type and Community Living Support Commn as specialty) | No | Yes | | | Hawaii | List not available | No | Yes | | | Idaho | List not available | No | Yes | | | Illinois | Provider list | Yes | Yes | | | Indiana | List not available | No | Yes | | | Iowa | Directory search (filter by HCBS elderly providers and services) | No | Yes | | | Kansas | List not available | No | Yes | | | Kentucky | List not available | No | Yes | | | Louisiana | List not available | No | No | | | Maine | Provider list | No | Yes | | | Maryland | Provider list/Statewide%20Assistted%20Living10-1-16.pdf) | No | Yes | | | Massachusetts | List not available | No | Yes | | | Michigan | List not available | No | Yes | | | Minnesota | Directory search (filter by Home and Community Based Services) | No | Yes | | | Mississippi | List not available | No | Yes | | | Missouri | Provider list (see Home & Community Based Care section) | Yes | Yes | | | Montana | List not available | No | Yes | | | Nebraska | Directory search | No | Yes | | | Nevada | Directory search (filter by provider category - Home & Community Based Waiver) | No | Yes | | | New Hampshire | List not available | No | Yes | | | New Mexico | Directory search | No | Yes | | | New Jersey | Directory search | No | Yes | | | New York | Provider list (see ALP column) | Yes | Yes | | | North Carolina | Provider list | No | Yes | | | North Dakota | Provider list | No | Yes | | | Ohio | Directory search (filter by Home and Community Based ODA Assisted Living) | No | Yes | | | Oklahoma | List not available | No | Yes | | | Oregon | List not available | No | Yes | | | Pennsylvania | List not available | No | No | | | Rhode Island | Directory search | No | Yes | | | South Carolina | Directory search (filter by provider type - Community Long Term Care) | No | Yes | | | South Dakota | List not available | No | Yes | | | Tennessee | List not available | No | Yes | | | Texas | Directory search | No | Yes | | | Utah | List not available | No | Yes | | | Vermont | List not available | No | Yes | | | Virginia | Provider list | No | Yes | | | Washington | Directory search | No | Yes | | | West Virginia | List not available | No | Yes | | | Wisconsin | List not available | No | Yes | | | Wyoming | List not available | No | Yes | |

Common issues with using Medicaid for assisted living

Let’s say you’ve done your preliminary research and found some assisted living facilities that accept Medicaid -- that’s a great start.

Unfortunately, a lot of people then encounter issues getting qualified for their state’s HCBS waiver. Some common hurdles:

HCBS waivers may require a higher level of medical need than what your senior qualifies for.

HCBS waivers often have limited spots and you may find yourself on a waiting list even if you qualify from a medical or financial standpoint.

A few things you can do, if you run into these issues:

See if your state offers non-Medicaid programs for assisted living or independent living. For instance, Florida offers financial assistance for residential care through their Optional State Supplementation for Assisted Living program.

See if you can use other options to pay for assisted living, including veterans benefits or supplemental Social Security income.

Work with a geriatric care manager who knows the resources in your area.

Medicaid is a complicated system, but it does provide useful services for long-term care. Take the next steps today to see if Medicaid can help you find assisted living or other care solutions for your loved one.