Connecticut's Assisted Living Program / CHCPE Alternative Care Unit

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. Given that care is provided in assisted living residences instead of at home, we have included it separately on this page. This financial assistance program helps low income, elderly state residents afford the high 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 a collection of four smaller programs that offer assisted living support in different locations.  Many Connecticut seniors prefer assisted living to other long term care options as it allows for them to continue living independently, in an individual studio or one bedroom apartment, while gaining a team of onsite care givers 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 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.

The Assisted Living Program is available to all Connecticut residents who are at least 65 years of age. Program participants must need assistance to complete activities of daily living and must be “in need of short or long term nursing home care." For those who are not at this level of care, they may be placed on a waiting list.

Non-Medicaid Participants
The program does not have an income limit. Those with incomes over 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines will be required to contribute to the cost of their care. In 2017, this means individuals with incomes greater than approximately $25,000 a year must pay a percentage of their income.

An applicant's assets are also considered. The 2017 asset limits for individuals and married couples are $36,270 and $48,360, 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 $2205 per month in 2017. Married couples in which only one spouse receives Medicaid are allowed higher incomes and greater assets to ensure the non-Medicaid spouse can continue to afford to live independently.

Benefits and Services

In cases where the applicant is very low income and has no significant assets, the program pays the complete cost of an assisted living stay. In other cases, the program covers only the cost of care services in assisted living communities, but not for room and board (rent and meals). For non-Medicaid participants with income and assets over the Medicaid levels, the participant is 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. The average cost of $5,289 for assisted living in Connecticut far exceeds the typical monthly Social Security income. Find out the cost of care in your area of Connecticut.

How to Apply / Learn More

To apply online for the Assisted Living benefits from the CHCPE, go to the new online application. Those who prefer to apply in person can find the local field offices for the Department of Social Services available here. Be aware that there is a cap on the number of participants allowed in the program and, therefore, a waiting list may exist. To learn more about the assisted living option, go to program page from the state.


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