The Personal Care Services Program (PCS) is a Medicaid program relevant to elderly and / or disabled Idaho residents. Via this program, program participants are provided assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) in their homes. ADLs may include preparing meals, eating, moving from one location to another, dressing, shopping, and so forth. The goal of this program is to help individuals maintain their independence and avoid institutionalization (placement in a nursing home). Therefore, this program is not available to individuals living in skilled nursing homes or intermediate care facilities. However, personal care can be provided to persons living in assisted living residences or adult foster care homes (if they are paying privately and not receiving other Medicaid-funded personal care services).
This Medicaid program is administered by Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare.
Did You Know?
According to Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey 2021, the average cost of assisted living in Idaho is very affordable at approximately $3,838 / month when compared to the national average of approximately $4,500 / month.
This PCS program is for elderly and disabled residents of Idaho that are qualified for Idaho Medicaid (also called Idaho Health Plan Medical Assistance) and reside at home, in assisted living, or in adult foster care (but not in nursing homes). Applicants must meet the financial requirements for Aid to the Aged, Blind, and Disabled (AABD) Medicaid, which for 2022, are as follows:
Income – single applicants are permitted monthly income of $894. Annually, this means one’s income cannot exceed $10,728. Married applicants, with both spouses applying, can have a monthly income of up to $1,281. This means the couple can have a combined annual income of $15,372.
Assets – single applicants are permitted $2,000 in countable assets, and married applicants are allowed $3,000. Countable assets exclude one’s home, home furnishings, personal items, and low value life insurance policies. A single vehicle is also exempt provided it is in use and not an investment. The home is exempt provided the owner (or one of the owners) lives in it and the home equity interest is not greater than $750,000.
It is possible for individuals who do not meet these requirements to still qualify for the PCS Program through a process known as Medicaid planning. Those who cannot afford their care, might consider this approach. Excess income and assets are converted in form into not-countable income and exempt assets using trusts. This is a financially complex procedure and it is strongly advised that persons hoping to qualify through this approach find assistance prior to application.
Benefits and Services
The following services, up to 16 hours per week, are available via the Personal Care Services Program:
- Assistance with the activities of daily living, such as bathing, grooming and personal hygiene
- Assistance taking prescription drugs
- Meal preparation
- Shopping for essentials, such as groceries and picking up medications
- Transportation assistance, as long as it is medically related
How to Apply / Learn More
PCS benefits are provided across Idaho. There are no geographic restrictions for this program except participants cannot live in nursing homes or intermediate care facilities.
To learn more about the PCS program and to begin the application process, visit the Idaho Medicaid website or call your regional Department of Health & Welfare office. Although not intended for a consumer audience, additional program information can be found here.
Personal care in Idaho is also available under the state’s HCBS Aged & Disabled Waiver. However, the waiver has enrollment caps and a waiting list may exist.