What Is An Elderly Medicaid Waiver Program?

Senior Care Programs By State

See middle column, find your state.

Medicaid Waivers help provide services to eldery people who would otherwise be in a nursing home or hospital to receive long-term care in the community. Although there are waivers for many conditions, our focus on this website is towards waivers for people who are elderly and adults with physical disabilities. For waivers that serve persons with intellectual disabilities, CP, and Autism go to MedicaidWaiver.com.

Elderly Waiver programs fund home and community-based services for people who are eligible for Medical Assistance and require the level of care provided in a nursing home, but choose to reside in the community.

Elderly Waiver programs provide services for people age 65 and older. Some eldery waivers also provide services to adults ages 18 and older with physical disabilities.

The 1915(c) waiver is known as the “home and community-based services waiver” (HCBS) because it allows states to treat certain Medicaid populations in home or other community based settings rather than in institutional or long-term care facilities such as hospitals or nursing homes.

What is an Elderly Waiver?

Most states provide an option for seniors to live and be cared for in their own homes. These waiver programs provide home and community-based services and are called “waiver” services because the federal government has to “waive” some rules in order for the state to provide services to elderly people outside of a facility.

Waivers For Elderly

Medicaid waivers support the independence of older adults and adults who experience physical disabilities by providing services in their homes and in the community rather than in a hospital or nursing home.

Interesting Facts

By 2050, people age 65 and older are expected to comprise 20% of the total U.S. population. The fastest growing segment of American’s population consists of those 85 and up. In 2010, there were 5.8 million people aged 85 or older. By 2050, it is projected that there will be 19 million people aged 85 or older.

Elderly Care Information

Prior to 1991, the Federal Medicaid program paid for services only if a person lived in an institution. The approval of Federal Medicaid Waiver programs allowed states to provide services to consumers in their homes and in their communities.

Elderly Helpline

Senior and elderly assistance programs funded by states include: Medicare Plans, Medicare eligibility, Medicare providers, SSI Disability, and Obamacare. The Elderly Helpline provides information about these programs in every state.

Quick Notes

Waivers & demonstration projects:
  • Section 1115 Research & Demonstration Projects: States can apply for program flexibility to test new or existing approaches to financing and delivering Medicaid and CHIP.
  • Section 1915(b) Managed Care Waivers: States can apply for waivers to provide services through managed care delivery systems or otherwise limit people’s choice of providers.
  • Section 1915(c) Home and Community-Based Services Waivers: States can apply for waivers to provide long-term care services in home and community settings rather than institutional settings.
  • Concurrent Section 1915(b) and 1915(c) Waivers: States can apply to simultaneously implement two types of waivers to provide a continuum of services to the elderly and Elderly Adults, as long as all Federal requirements for both programs are met.