In the United States we enjoy one of the longest average life expectancies in the world. That means that you can look forward to leaving well into your retirement years and beyond. While we now live, on average, almost twice as long as we did just a century ago, the natural aging process continues to cause physical and mental deterioration as we age. Consequently, there is a good chance that you will reach a point where living alone becomes problematic. At the same time, you may not feel that a love to a long-term care facility is warranted. At-home care might be sufficient to allow you to remain in your home; however, it can be costly. A Medicaid planning attorney at Nash Bean Ford & Brown, LLP explains when Medicaid covers home health care in Illinois.
Although Medicaid is considered a federal health care program, the funds for Medicaid come from both the federal government and the individual state governments. Consequently, the rules governing Medicaid also come from both the federal government and the individual states governments. The federal government sets certain standards and requires state Medicaid programs to cover certain types of care and services; however, it also gives the states considerable flexibility with regard to the services they provide, particularly in the area of in-home care.
The Illinois Community Care Program (CCP)
The State of Illinois created the Illinois Community Care Program (CCP) for seniors who are in danger of being placed in a Medicaid-funded nursing home. This program seeks to support the elderly to remain living at home, or in the home of caregivers, and thereby avoiding costly state-funded nursing home care. CCP achieves this goal by paying for a variety of services, supports, and technologies that enable independent living or ease the workload on family caregivers. For example, adult day care and personal care in-home are covered, which allow family members who care for an elderly loved one at home to work during normal business hours. The CCP program may help with any of the following:
- Adult day care – supervision in a group environment during daytime hours
- Case management – assistance with coordination and administration of services
- Homemaker / chore services – laundry, housekeeping, yard work, light home maintenance
- Personal care – assistance with the activities of daily living
- Medication management – devices which remind, dispense and track medication usage
- Personal emergency response services – home safety monitoring and emergency call service
- Transportation escort – to medical appointments and for errands and shopping for household essentials. Can be on public transportation or in the provider’s vehicle.
Am I Eligible for the CCP Program?
Illinois residents, including legal aliens, can receive services under the Community Care Program if they meet the following criteria.
- Be at least 60 years of age.
- Have less than $17,500 as the value of their total countable resources. The value of one’s home and primary vehicle are not included as “countable”, provided they are used by the applicant and are not held solely for investment purposes.
- Be assessed by medically qualified professionals and found to need, or be at risk for needing, long term care services equivalent to that provided in a nursing home.
Those seniors whose income is below the federal poverty line receive services free of charge. The Federal Poverty Level for 2020, is $12,760 in annual income for a single individual, and a couple is considered under the FPL if their annual income is less than $17,240. Calculated monthly, these limits are $1,063 and $1,437 for a single individual and married couple, respectively. For those whose income exceeds the federal poverty line, fees are determined by the participant’s ability to pay, usually on a sliding scale based on one’s income. Care services fees for assistance provided under this program are well below the private market rates for the same services.
Contact a Medicaid Planning Attorney
For additional information, please download our FREE estate planning worksheet. If you have additional questions or concerns about Medicaid and home health care, or about Medicaid planning in general, contact an experienced Medicaid planning attorney at Nash Bean Ford & Brown LLP by calling 309-944-2188 or 1-800-644-5345 to schedule your appointment today.