Page Reviewed / Updated - Mar. 2014
This waiver allows elderly Texans, aged 65 or older, that require a nursing facility level of care, to reside at home or in assisted living residences and receive care services in those locations. Under STAR+PLUS, both medical care and non-medical long term care services as covered. STAR+PLU differs from other Texas Medicaid programs in that the services are provided by managed care organizations (MCO). There are specific MCOs in each county and participants are given the choice to select their preferred provider.
The STAR+PLUS waiver is offered in certain areas of Texas as an alternative to the Community Based Alternatives Waiver. However, unlike the CDA Waiver, STAR+PLUS does not offer individuals the option of self-directing their own care.
The STAR+PLUS Waiver has financial, functional and geographic restrictions. From a functional perspective, candidates must have a need for care services typically provided in nursing homes. Geographically, they must reside in one of the counties in which the program is offered and financially they must meet the income and assets levels for Texas Medicaid.
The Texas Medicaid thresholds for 2014 are as follows: an individual can have up to $2,163 / month in income and $2,000 in assets, which does not include their home or primary vehicle. However, if the individual is married and their spouse is not also applying for Medicaid, these amounts go up considerably with the objective of enabling the healthy spouse to continue living on their own. In these circumstances, the spouse can have assets valued at $117,240 and monthly income up to $2,931. This split spouse circumstance makes the Medicaid application complicated. It is recommended that individuals consult with a Medicaid eligibility expert to ensure the spouse will have adequate resources on which to live.
Since Texas has extremely rigid eligibility guidelines, persons with income or assets just over the limits might consider putting their additional funds into pooled income trusts or irrevocable funeral trusts. Be aware that both these financial vehicles may require assistance in their creation. Read more about Medicaid planning.
Under STAR+PLUS traditional health care and long-term care support are integrated and accordingly a broad range of services can be paid for including:
The STAR+PLUS program is not available statewide however its service area is continuing to expand. A list of current participating counties is below. One can also see a map of which Texas counties are currently participating. One can learn more about the program on the STAR+PLUS website.