RIte @ Home Program from Rhode Island Medicaid: Eligibility and Benefits

Program Description

RIte @ Home is designed for individuals that require considerable assistance with the activities of daily living and cannot live alone. This program enables them to remain living in a home environment instead of a nursing home. Typically, the individual in need of care moves into the home of their “Caregiver.” Eligible caregivers are relatives and friends, but not spouses. Caregivers are required to provide all personal care services and be on call 24/7, though not provide 24/7 care. For example, participants in this program can also receive adult day care.

Caregivers are paid for their efforts and supported by the Health and Human Services Office. They are provided with training, nursing support, respite and monitored for the quality of care they provide. Intermediary agencies that manage many of the interactions with the state program exist and provide a valuable service. However, the host family (the caregivers) should expect the agency to take 30% - 40% for their services. At the time of writing, two agencies have been approved as intermediaries and it is required to work with one of them.

Care recipients are expected to pay their caregiver for room and board from their SSI or Social Security checks. RI Medicaid does not pay for room and board.

This program is managed by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) for RI Medicaid (Medical Assistance Program). One might hear it referred to as the Caregiver Homes Program or the Shared Living Program. It is now offered as a benefit under the Global Consumer Choice Compact Waiver.


Eligibility Guidelines

Individuals must be unable to live independently and require considerable assistance with the activities of daily living. In addition, they must be financially qualified to receive Medicaid. RI Medicaid considers applicants' income, assets and their history of asset transfers.

2018 Income Limit
A single individual can automatically qualify if their monthly income is below $2,250 per month. However, they can also meet the Income Test if their income does not cover the cost of their monthly, recurring, medical expenses. Further, individuals with annual income over the limit may also qualify but will have a share of cost contribution to make that the state Medicaid office sets based on their income. Married applicants do not count the spouse’s income who is not applying for long term care benefits.

2018 Asset Limit
Single applicants are permitted to retain up to $4,000 in countable assets. If they are married and the spouse is not receiving Medicaid assistance, the spouse can retain up to $123,600. The value of their place of residence, provided their equity does not exceed $572,000, is not counted towards their asset total. However, since this program entails alternative housing for single individuals, their home would not be owner-occupied and would count as an asset, if a spouse was not living in it.

Past Asset Transfers
Asset transfers and gifts made by the Medicaid applicant for up to 60 months preceding their date of application may be reviewed to ensure they were not given away or sold under market value with the simple goal of reducing total assets to qualify for Medicaid. This is referred to as the Medicaid Look Back Period. Additional details are available here

For those unsure of their eligibility status, assistance is available.


Benefits and Services

Caregivers provide all personal care, meals, chores, transportation, social service and are on call 24/7. Agencies will provide respite care to the caregiver. Adult day care is also available for those participants whose caregivers are unable to be available 24/7.  Note that using adult day care, reduces the caregivers’ compensation by approximately 15%. 


How to Apply / Learn More

This program is available to residents throughout the state of Rhode Island. One can learn more about the program by downloading a brochure or by visiting the Department of Elderly Affairs website.