The Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE) is designed to assist aging Connecticut residents who are at risk of nursing home placement. The goal is to allow qualified seniors who require medical and personal care to remain living at home instead of being placed in a skilled nursing facility.
This program also permits individuals to reside in adult foster care, called Adult Family Living / Caregiver Homes under CHCPE, as well as in some assisted living residences. A variety of other services are provided to seniors as determined necessary by a health screening process and by their choice of residence.
Program administration is under the Connecticut Department of Social Services, Alternative Care Unit. To avoid confusion, it is worth mentioning that this program is also referred to as CHCPE Alternate Care and the Home and Community Based Services Waiver for the Elders.
This program is open to Connecticut residents age 65 and older who are at risk of being placed in a nursing home. What follows are the least restrictive requirements. There are four tiers of eligibility relevant to those 65 and over (two of which are state funded and two of which are reimbursed via Medicaid). That being said, anyone meeting or having greater need than described below will qualify for the program.
The candidate must have a critical need for assistance with at least 1-2 activities of daily living, which include eating, dressing, personal hygiene, transferring, and the ability to maintain continence and use a toilet.
CHCPE has two sets of financial eligibility criteria. One of two must be met (state funded or Medicaid Waiver) to receive services under this program. Make note, if one meets the financial criteria for Medicaid, he or she must apply for Medicaid. If one does not, he or she may receive state funded services.
As of 2023, there is no income limit for state funded services, but a participant’s assets are limited. The asset limit is $44,586 for an individual or $59,448 for a married couple.
To receive services via the Medicaid Waiver, an individual’s income is limited to $2,742 a month, and assets are limited to $1,600. For married couples, with both spouses as applicants, each spouse is considered as a single applicant. For married couples, when only one spouse is applying, the non-applicant spouse’s income is disregarded and the non-applicant spouse is allowed to keep $148,620, which is referred to as the community spouse resource allowance.
An applicant’s primary residence, given the applicant’s equity interest is under $1,033,000, and a vehicle is considered to be exempt assets. Other exempt assets include irrevocable burial contract up to $10,000 or revocable burial funds up to $1,800, a burial plot, and whole life insurance policies up to a total face value of $1,500.
Acceptance into the CHCPE program does not mean a senior’s care needs are completely paid for by CHCPE. Depending on their income, seniors may be asked to cover a portion of the costs. For instance, those who are funded by the state typically have to pay 9% of the total cost as a co-payment. Furthermore, any income over 200% of the Federal Poverty Level must be contributed toward the cost of care. In 2023, this means income over $2,430 / month must go toward care costs.
This program provides a variety of care services and supports to individuals living at home, in the community, and in assisted living, but not to individuals in skilled nursing residences. These services are determined on a case-by-case basis and some may be limited by the available budget for the program.
For more information or to apply call 800-445-5394, visit the Connecticut’s Home Care Program for Elders website, or apply online. Interested parties should be aware that participation in this program is based on the availability of funds. Wait lists may exist or may exist for certain services or eligibility category.