Missouri’s state Medicaid program, referred to as MO HealthNet, offers a consumer-directed personal care assistance program. With consumer directed services (CDS), also referred to as “self-directed care,” eligible applicants can hire, train, and supervise the individual they choose to provide their personal care. Family members who register as CDS providers with the Missouri Medicaid Audit and Compliance Unit within the Department of Social Services can be hired to provide care. An exception is spouses and legal guardians.
This program is intended to help prevent the need for nursing home placement by providing at-home assistance for those who are physically disabled and would require institutionalization if not for this state program.
While this program is not limited to the elderly, it does assist seniors who are unable to perform routine daily activities due to illness. (Those with Alzheimer’s and other similar dementias are, unfortunately, not eligible for this program.) Assistance is provided with both activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL). Examples of these activities include:
This personal care assistance program is administered by the Division of Senior and Disability Services, a department of DHSS. It is available statewide.
To be eligible for this program, applicants must meet the following requirements:
In addition to the above requirements, MO HealthNet eligibility is also dependent on financial criteria.
As of 2023, the income limit for a single senior is $1,033 per month. Married couples are allowed a slightly higher monthly income of $1,397. (These figures are equivalent to 85% of the Federal Poverty Level.)
Further, there is a $5,726 asset limit for individual seniors who want to enroll in MO HealthNet. Married couples are allowed up to $11,452 in assets. However, some assets are considered exempt (non-countable). These include one’s home (given the applicant or their spouse lives in the home and the equity value is not greater than $688,000), household items, personal goods, and a motor vehicle.
Individuals who have income over the limit may still qualify via a spenddown, which works similarly to a deductible program. Participants spend their excess income on medical bills and care needs. And once they have reached the Medicaid income limit, they are able to receive personal care services via Medicaid for the rest of the month.
Persons unsure of their eligibility status may wish to consult with a Medicaid planning professional.
Individuals who are receiving consumer directed personal care services through MO HealthNet are not eligible to receive self-directed services via Missouri’s Division of Developmental Disabilities.
This program provides consumer-directed personal care assistance that is non-medical in nature, in the home of eligible applicants. Assistance with a variety of ADLs and IADLs is central to this program. It may include help with the following:
As mentioned before, family members or friends can be hired as personal caregivers.
The Division of Senior and Disability Services determines eligibility for the Consumer Directed Personal Care Program. If you are currently enrolled in MO HealthNet, call 866-835-3505 for a pre-screening, which will take 10-15 minutes. Following the pre-screening, a home assessment will be scheduled.
One can learn more about the consumer-directed personal care program here.