N.J. to allow Medicaid to cover in-home elder care
NOVEMBER 30, 2014 LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2014, 1:21 AM
BY COLLEEN DISKIN
STAFF WRITER |
In its latest move to promote alternatives to nursing homes, the Christie administration will enact a new funding measure on Monday that will allow more elderly and disabled people to apply for Medicaid assistance to pay for care at home or in non-institutional settings.
This newest amendment to the New Jersey’s Medicaid program will allow those who earn too much to qualify for full assistance — but who can’t afford the cost of the care they need — to receive help through the creation of a trust account at a bank.
Any income an elderly or disabled person receives above the Medicaid eligibility limit of $2,163 a month will be deposited into these irrevocable trust accounts, with withdrawals allowed for qualified living expenses as well as for the portion of their care that individuals can afford. Medicaid will then pick up the rest of the tab for their care, whether it’s in a nursing home or their own home.
The change is a response to years of lobbying from advocates who said old Medicaid rules were having the unintended effect of forcing people into nursing homes prematurely, because the state offered no help in paying for home health aides, adult day care programs or assisted living residences.