Maine provides resources to seniors through The Office of Aging & Disability Services (OADS) within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which is responsible for planning, developing, managing, and providing community-based services which promote choice and independence for adults choosing to remain in their community. Programs include both federally-funded waiver programs as well as state-funded home-based care.
OADS operates seven state-funded, affordable Assisted Living Facilities (ALF). They were developed on the premise that the consumer would have their own apartment with the option of having services provided. These facilities allow an individual to live independently in their own apartment and receive such services as meals, homemaking, personal care, and/or medication administration. The consumer’s rent is paid directly to the property owner, and services (meals, personal care, medication administration, homemaker services, plus an emergency response system) are provided by the service provider.
OADS currently operates five Independent Housing with Services (IHSP) programs throughout the State. This program aims to address the housing and service needs of older adults with long-term care needs but does not require a nursing facility level of care.
These facilities offer similar services to the Assisted Living Facilities but do not provide medication management. The IHSP provides both affordable housing, as well as supportive services, which in turn increases the opportunity for independence and freedom of choice. It continues to provide supportive services such as personal care, homemaking, service coordination, and meals.
Additionally, Maine has five Aging & Disability Resource Centers (or Area Agencies on Aging), which serve as “one-stop-shops” to answer questions from older adults, or from any individuals with disabilities, about a wide range of in-home, community-based, and institutional services. AAAs provide information and assistance to individuals needing either public or private long-term care resources, serve professionals seeking assistance on behalf of their client’s long-term care needs, serve individuals planning for their future long-term care needs, and serve as the entry point to publicly administered long-term supports including those funded under Medicaid, the Older Americans Act and state revenue programs.
Medicaid Waiver Programs for Assisted Living and In-Home Care
Maine Medicaid Waiver for Elderly and Adults with Physical Disabilities (HCB Waiver)
Home and Community Benefits for the Elderly and for Adults with Disabilities (HCB) are in-home care and other services designed as a package to assist eligible Members in remaining in their homes or other residential community settings, and thereby avoid or delay institutional nursing facility care. Medical eligibility for these HCB services is established by a medical eligibility determination (MED) assessment conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services, Aging and Disability Services.
Services Include Care Coordination, Adult Day Health, Assistive Technology, Attendant Services, Home Health Services, Financial Management Services, Personal Care Services, Personal Emergency Response Systems, Respite Care, Transportation Services, and Environmental Modifications.
- Health: An applicant must require a Nursing Home Level of Care.
- Financial: An applicant is subject to certain income and asset limits. Single people can have no more than $10,000 in resources. Couples can have no more than $15,000 in resources (when both spouses receive long-term care). Married couples can have up to $137,400 in resources as long as one spouse at home DOES NOT receive long-term care services. The income limits are $2,523 for an individual and $5,046 for a couple (when both spouses need long-term care). However, a “Waiver Spend-down” option allows your eligibility to be considered even if your income is over the limit. Waiver Spend-down has a standard $20 income deduction. All individuals are allowed to retain a basic needs allowance from his/her income which is equal to $2,523 (300% of the Federal Benefit Rate, or FBR). Any remainder will be the individual’s liability for the cost of care in Waiver Spend-down.
- The State of Maine requires both a financial and functional assessment to determine an individual’s eligibility for the HCB waiver for the Elderly and Adults with Physical Disabilities. Assessments help individuals and families understand what services are available to them and plan for service needs. The Office of Family Independence completes financial assessments. Functional assessments are completed by Goold Health Services. The Medical Eligibility Determination Form (MED) is the tool approved by DHHS to determine functional program eligibility for this service.
Below are the steps necessary to apply for services:
- Apply for MaineCare Services. You can access the Long Term Care application at: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/ofi/forms.shtml – Submit completed applications to your local District DHHS office.
- If you have not already had a functional assessment by Goold Health Services at 1-800-609-7893, call to arrange an appointment.
Members will be accepted into the program on a first-come, first-served basis based on the availability of funding. The Office of Aging and Disability Services will maintain the waitlist.
Maine is a state that has a strict financial limit for the amount of income and assets an applicant must have. Furthermore, pursuant to federal law, the HCBS Waiver program in Maine has a “medically needy” provision that allows applicants to lower their income to come below the limits required for eligibility. Due to the complexity of these rules and the value of the waiver program, it is essential to have a Medicaid Planning specialist review your finances and application before deciding whether to apply for Maine’s Medicaid waiver for the elderly.
Access all state Medicaid Waiver pages.