Connecticut's Assisted Living Program / CHCPE Alternative Care Unit

Page Reviewed / Updated - Jan. 2016

What is a Medicaid Waiver?
For persons with limited financial resources, Medicaid pays for nursing home care. For those who wish to live at home or in assisted living, sometimes Medicaid will pay for care in those locations if it can be obtained at a lower cost than in a nursing home. It does this through "Medicaid Waivers," which are also called Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers or Waiver Funded Services.

Program Description

Connecticut's Assisted Living Program is contained within the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE), a state Medicaid waiver. However, given that care is provided in assisted living residences instead of at home, we have included it separately on this website as a distinct option. This financial assistance program helps low income, elderly state residents afford the cost of assisted living (non-skilled nursing, residential care).

Presently, all of Connecticut’s Medicaid funding for assisted living is administered through the CHCPE. The Assisted Living Program is actually an umbrella program that is comprised of four smaller programs that offer assisted living support in different locations and receive funding from different sources.  Many Connecticut seniors prefer assisted living to other long term care options as it allows for them to continue living independently while gaining a level of care and services in a social environment. 


Eligibility Guidelines

 This program is unusual in that it is open to both Medicaid eligible and ineligible Connecticut residents.

The Assisted Living Program is available to all Connecticut residents who are at least 65 years of age. Program participants must need a degree of assistance to complete their activities of daily living and must be "at risk of nursing home placement" were they not to receive assistance.

The Assisted Living Program is open to both Medicaid eligible individuals and those who are not Medicaid eligible. There are different financial requirements depending on whether the applicant is enrolled or seeking to enroll in Connecticut’s Medicaid program.

Non-Medicaid Participants
The program does not have an income limit, however those with incomes over 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines will be required to contribute to the cost of their care. In 2016, this means individuals with incomes greater than approximately $24,000 / year must contribute.

An applicant's assets are also considered. At the time of writing the 2016 assets limits had not been published however the reader can be reasonably confident they are very close to the 2015 limits which follow. The 2015 asset limits for individuals and married couples are $35,766 and $47,688, respectively.

Medicaid Participants
To qualify, an individual must have total assets of less than $1,600. If married and their spouse is also seeking or receiving assistance from Medicaid, then their combined total assets must be less than $3,200. Monthly income for a single applicant must be below 300% of the Federal Poverty level or $2199 per month in 2016. Married couples in which only one spouse receives Medicaid are allowed higher incomes and greater assets in order to ensure the non-Medicaid spouse can continue to afford to live independently.


Benefits and Services

As this is an umbrella program, it is difficult to clearly summarize the benefits. In some cases the program will pay the complete cost of assisted living. In other cases, the program will pay for the cost of care services in assisted living communities but not for room and board (rent and meals). A third possibility is that the program will pay for room, board and care services but the program participant will be required to make co-payments.

Typically assisted living communities provide personal care, meal services, housekeeping, laundry, recreational activities and medication oversight.


Did you know?  The monthly cost for assisted living in Connecticut ranges from $2,000 to $9,200 and the average cost is $5,289. Find out the cost of care in your area of Connecticut.

How to Apply / Learn More

To learn more about the Assisted Living Program, visit the Department of Social Services webpage. Contact information for persons wishing to apply for the program is available here.  Be aware that there is a finite number of participants allowed in the program and therefore waiting lists may exist.

 Free assistance is also available to help Connecticut seniors find affordable assisted living communities.  Get help here.