Page Reviewed / Updated – July 19, 2023

Program Description

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.

Eligibility Guidelines

General Requirements

  • Massachusetts’ residents must live at home or in the home of a caregiver. This means they cannot reside in an adult foster home, assisted living residence, or in a skilled nursing facility.
  • They must be at least 60 years old or diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s or a related dementia.
  • Home Care Program recipients must be assessed by a case manager and found to meet the required Functional Impairment Level. Enhanced Community Options Program participants must be assessed at a higher level of care need.

Financial Requirements

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.

Benefits and Services

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: 

  • Adult day health care
  • Alzheimer’s / dementia care
  • Companion services
  • Food shopping
  • Home health aides / services
  • Homemaker services, including laundry
  • Meal delivery
  • Meal planning and preparation
  • Medication assistance
  • Minor home repair and yardwork
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Personal care services
  • Personal emergency response services
  • Respite care
  • Transitional assistance
  • Transportation assistance

Eldercare Financial Assistance Locator

  • Discover all of your options
  • Search over 400 Programs

How to Apply / Learn More

Local Massachusetts Aging Services Access Points (ASAPs) manage both programs. To learn more and apply for these programs, contact your local ASAP, or call the helpline at 800-AGE-INFO (800-243-4636).

Additional information is available on the Mass Resources website.