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Assisted Living waiver expanded eligibility

Thursday, November 17, 2011

More elders across Ohio can access the Assisted Living waiver, thanks to expanded eligibility as enrollment barriers are removed   

The Buckeye Hills-Area Agency on Aging 8 (BH-AAA8) can help elders and others in SE Ohio access Ohio’s Assisted Living waiver more quickly thanks to recent program changes.

These changes, written by the Ohio Department of Aging and approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, mean that anyone living in the community can access the program. A second change means that consumers can begin receiving assisted living services while their Medicaid eligibility is being determined. Ohio's Assisted Living Waiver program pays the costs of care in an assisted living facility for certain people with Medicaid, allowing the consumer to use his or her resources to cover "room and board" expenses.

“We are dedicated to helping people receive the services they need in the most appropriate setting. These changes remove barriers to program enrollment and allow us to ensure more people receive services more quickly,” said Rick Hindman, AAA8 Director.

“Governor John Kasich has made it clear: It is a state priority is to enable Ohio’s elders and those who live with disabilities and need assistance to live with dignity and respect in settings they prefer as their care needs change,” said Bonnie Kantor-Burman, director of the Ohio Department of Aging. “These program changes ensure just that.”

Anyone who lives in the community and who meets Medicaid eligibility requirements now will be able to enroll in Ohio’s Assisted Living waiver. Previously, to be eligible, an individual had to have lived in a nursing home or residential care facility for six months before enrolling. Consumers also would have to wait until their Medicaid eligibility was determined before they could begin receiving assisted living services. Assisted living facilities provide elders with an alternative to nursing facility care that is both less expensive and less restrictive. Services include 24 hour on-site response, personal care, supportive services (housekeeping, laundry, and maintenance), nursing, and transportation, meals and recreational programming.

Nearly 3,200 Ohioans currently use the Assisted Living waiver. To determine if assisted living is a good option for you, contact 800-331-2644 and request a free assessment. The Long-term Care Consumer Guide (www.ltcohio.org/consumer/index.asp) is an online tool that can help you find and compare nursing and residential care facilities, including assisted living, in your area.


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A Program of Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District