Planning for Life

Major Change to Eligibility Criteria for Home and Community Based Services Waiver

Posted by Anthony Bushu on January 5, 2017

By Patricia C. D'Agostino, Esq.

There is now an asset limit of $120,900 for married elders seeking eligibility for the Home and Community Based Services Waiver (the “Waiver).  This will be effective for Waiver participants who enrolled in the program after January 1, 2014.  MassHealth is not reviewing the eligibility of those who enrolled before that date.

The Waiver program provides the Commonwealth’s low-income and frail elders with the long-term care services and supports they need to remain living safely in their homes.  Some of the services provided under the Waiver are health care aides, personal care services, skilled nursing, housekeeping, laundry, companion services, meal delivery, grocery shopping and transportation.  Until now, a healthy spouse’s assets were not counted in determining an applicant’s eligibility for the Waiver.  This is no longer the case.

Massachusetts is imposing this new limitation due to a change mandated by the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).  Pursuant to the ACA, this restriction became active on January 1, 2014, and will sunset on December 31, 2018, but it is unclear whether or not this will sunset in Massachusetts.

If you are a recipient of Waiver services and you receive a notice from MassHealth stating you are no longer eligible for services, please contact Patricia C. D’Agostino, Esq. at (617)267-9700, ext. 562 or email me to discuss your options to maintain eligibility.    

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