Special Bulletins for Advisors
September 2000

Eligibility for Connecticut's Home Care Program Expanded

During the June 2000 Special Session, the General Assembly, at the request of the Governor, passed a significant expansion of the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE) by adding a "medically needy" component to the program, which takes effect October 1, 2000.  The CHCPE offers a variety of community services such as adult day care, home care, home-delivered meals and chore services.

Prior to the passage of this provision individuals, who were otherwise eligible for the CHCPE, would be ineligible if they were even one dollar over the income cap (approximately $1,500/month).  Persons with incomes greater than the cap would need to enter a nursing facility to receive Medicaid support.  The medically needy component of the CHCPE will give more people choices as to where they receive care.  Rather than entering a nursing facility, a CHCPE client could remain in the home and contribute any excess income towards the cost of care.  For example, individuals will be able to retain 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (approximately $1,400/month in the year 2000), with any income above this amount applied toward their care.  The asset and disability requirements for the CHCPE were not changed.

The General Assembly also added "minor home modifications" as a covered service under the CHCPE.  This will enable the CHCPE to pay for the installation of grab bars in a shower, handrails and other simple modifications.  These minor additions to a home can sometimes be the key factor that allows an individual to remain at home safely.

Implications for your clients and the Connecticut Partnership:  This legislation puts the income requirements for the State's CHCPE program on a par with the income requirements for nursing facility care.  This means that a greater number of Connecticut Partnership policyholders may be eligible for the State's home care program if their private long-term care insurance runs out.  The Partnership's Medicaid Asset Protection can be used for either the CHCPE or nursing facility care.  The legislation also provides financial assistance with minor home modifications so that persons who need long-term care can remain safely at home.

For more information contact:
David Guttchen, Director
(860) 418-6318