Virginia’s Technology Assisted Waiver, usually called simply the Tech Waiver, is a Medicaid program that provides services to individuals who require a medical device because of the loss of a vital body function and require ongoing skilled nursing care for the management of that device and for their activities of daily living. Participants must choose to receive the care in their home or community as an alternative to a nursing home. Often potential participants are completing rehabilitation in a nursing home and waiting to be discharged home with the proper equipment and support.
The Tech Waiver offers a similar set of services as the Elderly and Disabled Waiver. However, it is specifically for those persons dependent on medical technology. Those individuals who find themselves medically eligible for both waivers can choose the one that is most immediately available and best meets their needs. One major difference between the two waivers is that the Tech Waiver more readily pays for home modifications (“environmental adaptations”) to accommodate for a medical device.
In addition to requiring a medical device and ongoing skilled nursing, participants must be financially qualified for Medicaid. While there is no age requirement, there is a geographic requirement in that the applicant must be a Virginia resident and they must be willing to live at home instead of in a skilled nursing home. Finally, the Technology Assisted Waiver has the same financial eligibility requirement as a program of Virginia Medicaid.
VA Medicaid considers both the applicant’s income and resources. “Resources” refers to the total value of their countable assets, cash, and investments. One’s home and primary vehicle are not included as countable assets, nor are burial plans and some personal jewelry. Savings, checking, investments and other accounts should not total to more than $2000. Married applicants can protect up to $120,900 of their wealth for their spouse.
Individuals can qualify with up $2,205 in monthly income. Income is assessed before health insurance and Medicare premiums are deducted. Married applicants should not consider the income in their spouse’s name. Persons who have incomes over these limits may still qualify by creating a special account called a pooled income trust. This would effectively lower their countable income to a Medicaid acceptable level. If you considering this strategy, a professional familiar with the details of properly using an income trust should be consulted.
There are a variety of public and private Medicaid planning experts who provide legal assistance with the Medicaid application process. If your family is uncertain whether they will qualify financially for Medicaid, it is a prudent strategy to consult with a benefits qualification expert in advance of applying. More information.
Services provided under this waiver are selected to enable technology dependent individuals to remain living at home. Final benefits are approved as needed for the applicant and can include:
This program is available statewide across Virginia. If you are interested in this program, you should ask the nursing home social worker or hospital discharge worker to see whether it is right for your loved one. You can learn more about the program state website and find local Area Agency on Aging contact information here.