Page Reviewed / Updated - Jan. 2016
Elderly Rhode Island residents can receive a variety of care services and support through the Home and Community Care Program. This program is intended as an alternative to nursing homes and therefore services are provided to individuals living at home or "in the community". By the rules of the program, "in the community" includes assisted living residences. Having said that, most of the benefits of the program are selected to support individuals at home. For example, assisted living residents would not be able to receive financial assistance for home modifications. Also provided under this program is adult day care, in-home care, meal delivery services and medical alert services.
This program is under the jurisdiction of the Rhode Island Division of Elderly Affairs and is funded through a combination of state and federal monies.
The Home and Community Care Program has multiple layers of eligibility requirements.
Age - Applicants must be 65 or older.
Residency - Applicants are required to be legal residents of the state of Rhode Island. However, there is no duration of residency requirement. Persons just moving to the state are eligible.
Functional Ability - This program is intended as an alternative to nursing home placement. Therefore, participants must be at risk of nursing home placement. Practically this means they require assistance to perform the activities of daily living such as bathing, grooming, eating and mobility. Typically, the inability to leave their home without considerable assistance is indicative of an individual who would qualify from a functional perspective.
Financial Status - the Home and Community Care Program considers both the applicant's income and countable resources. Applicants can be admitted to the program if they are "categorically needy" meaning their monthly income in 2016 is below $980.83. Alternatively they can be "medically needy" meaning their monthly care expenses are deducted from their income. Should less than $867 remain, they can be admitted. Regardless of being medically or categorically needy, single applicants are limited to $4,000 in countable assets. Countable assets do not include the value of a home provided it is lived in by its owner.
Married applicants have a different set of rules, this is especially true if only one spouse is applying for Medicaid. Couples in this situation and single individuals over these limits should strongly consider consulting with a Medicaid planning expert prior to contacting state Medicaid officials. Read more.
Follows is a list of possible benefits covered by this program. Not every participant will be eligible to receive all of these.
To apply for this program, state residents should contact their Area Agency on Aging regional office. The program is available statewide. However as with many Medicaid Waivers, there may be a waiting list for services. Limited information is available on the Department of Elder Affairs webpage.