Nebraska Aged & Disabled Medicaid Waiver: Qualifications and Services

Page Reviewed / Updated - Jan. 2016

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.

Waiver Description

This Nebraska Medicaid waiver is designed to help the elderly remain living independently or in assisted living residences instead of in nursing home facilities by providing care services and skills training. Institutional care is extremely expensive to the state of Nebraska as well as less desirable for care recipients, therefore the Aged and Disabled Waiver achieves the dual objectives of reducing costs for the state and increasing the participant's quality of life.

For qualified participants, the waiver helps to meet their needs with services like adult day care, chore services and financial assistance for assistive technology for one's home or even one's vehicle, if the elder is still capable of safely driving. All of these are intended to make it easier to care for a loved one at home or to help an elderly person to care for themselves.

The A&D Waiver allows for participant input on some service providers. This means that the individual receiving care services has the option to select their own care providers. The care providers are managed by the care recipient and paid by the state. Adult children can be hired to care for aging parents; however, spouses of the care recipients are not eligible to become paid caregivers. This model is sometimes referred to as Cash and Counseling or consumer direction.

Did You Know?  Nebraska is ranked in the Top 5 states for the highest rate of persons living to the age of 100.


Eligibility Guidelines

Nebraska residents must be 65 or older (or officially disabled), require nursing home level care and be financially qualified for Nebraska Medicaid to be eligible for this waiver. Nebraska accepts individuals into its Medicaid system based on several criteria, considering the income, savings and population grouping.

Income - applicants can be "categorically needy" or "medically needy". Categorically needy applicants have an absolute income of less than 100% of Federal Poverty Level. In 2016, this is less than approximately $733 / month. Medically needy applicants can have any amount of income but once they pay for their recurring medical and care expenses, they must have less than approximately $400 available each month.

Assets - In 2016, the countable asset limit for a single applicant is $4,000. The state will allow married couples to have more savings when one of them does not need Medicaid. In 2016, a non-applicant spouse can maintain up to $119,220. Their home, provided it is owner-occupied, is considered an exempt asset and it not counted towards their total.

There are public and private Medicaid planning experts that help families prepare for the Medicaid application process. If one is unsure regarding their financial eligibility, it is recommended they find assistance qualifying for Medicaid prior to application.  Read about assistance options.


Benefits and Services

While individual services are determined case by case, potential benefits include the following:

  • Adult Day Care
  • Assisted Living
  • Assistive Technology for the Home and Vehicle
  • Chore Services (laundry, housekeeping and shopping for essentials)
  • Home Delivered, Hot and Prepared Meals
  • Home Modifications
  • Independence Skills Training
  • Medical Transportation
  • Personal Emergency Response Service
  • Respite Care


How to Apply / Learn More

There are no geographic limitations on the availability of the Aged and Disabled Waiver in Nebraska. However, it was designed to accommodate a specific number of individuals. Should the number of eligibility applicants exceed the available slots, a waiting list may be created or in Medicaid parlance "Services Registry".  Fortunately, in past years Nebraska has not experienced much, if any, waiting periods for waiver participants.

To find additional information, click here. To apply for the program, contact Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services by calling 800-358-8802.  One can also download a list of local offices by county.

There are several other programs available to Nebraska residents who do not qualify for the Aged and Disabled Waiver; these are the SSAD, DPFS and AABD Programs.  Medicaid also offers Personal Assistance Services.