Massachusetts operates two programs that help elderly state residents remain living in their homes instead of moving into a nursing home. These are the Home Care Program (HCP) and the very similar Enhanced Community Options Program (ECOP). Both programs offer care and non-medical supports to individuals in their homes. But ECOP is targeted toward individuals with a higher level of care needs.
Services are intended to help individuals continue living in their homes or to help families care for loved ones in their homes. Benefits range from adult day care to home delivered meals to chore services and medication assistance. A complete list is available in the Benefits section further down this page.
The Enhanced Community Options Program is intended to help people who meet the clinical eligibility for nursing homes but who are ineligible for MassHealth Standard. Service costs depend on the income of the care recipient. Services may be free of charge or may require co-payments. If a co-payment is required, families should rest assured that their portion will be well below what the services would otherwise cost if they were obtained on the open market. Monthly co-payments for most services range from $10 to $152, depending on the participant’s ability to pay.
Both the HCP and ECOP programs allow for consumer direction of some services. This means participating individuals are able to select who administers their care services instead of state administrators choosing the service providers on the beneficiary’s behalf. Family members can be hired (and paid) to provide these services so long as the hired individual is not also the participant’s legal guardian or surrogate.
Both the Enhanced Community Options Program and the Home Care Program have the same financial eligibility requirements.
As of 2023, to receive financial assistance for home care services, a single adult must have an annual income of less than $33,659. Couples can have an income of up to $47,626. As mentioned before, there may be monthly co-payments for services depending on the participant’s income level.
Meeting eligibility requirements does not guarantee services. Waiting lists may exist.
Seniors, the disabled, and their caregivers can benefit from a very wide range of support services through these two programs. Final services are determined on a case-by-case basis and are written up in a care management plan. They may include any of the following: