The Alternative Care Program (AC) helps approximately 4,000 Minnesota seniors who are at risk of nursing home placement to remain living at home or in the home of a caregiver. The program provides a wide range of care services and non-care support to seniors and their caregivers. These services can include personal care, respite, transportation assistance, and home delivered meals. This is a non-Medicaid program intended to prevent or delay Medicaid-funded nursing home placements for seniors.
In the AC Program, family members can be hired as paid caregivers for their loved ones.
Under the Alternative Care Program, participants have the option of self-directing some of the care services they receive. This option is referred to as Consumer-Directed Community Supports. It means the care recipient can choose from whom they receive care.
Family members, including adult children, can be hired and paid to care for their aging parents. Minnesota is also one of the few states in which a spouse can be hired. However, spouses are limited to providing “personal assistance services.” Family members seeking to be employed must enroll as official care providers with the state, and a fiscal intermediary is used to manage payments.
The Alternative Care Program has eligibility requirements related to both the functional ability of the senior and their financial situation. Participants must:
The care supports and services provided under the Alternative Care Program differ by county and by the needs of the individual.
During enrollment, each individual is assessed to determine his or her specific care needs. Services may be provided free of charge, but some participants may be required to pay a co-payment. Co-payments are based on a sliding scale. Individuals may be provided with any of the following services, some of which are open to consumer direction.
Adult foster care and assisted living care services are not included in the Alternative Care range of senior services. For individuals who are looking for help with the cost of their residential care, the Elder Waiver does include financial assistance for assisted living and foster care.