Home and Community-Based Services are programs funded under Medicaid designed to give aging individuals or people with functional limitations the option to receive services in their own home rather than a facility. HCBS falls under the governmentally-mandated Medicaid program. In fact, In 2014, 53% of all Medicaid long term care spending was on home & community based services. Family caregivers should educate themselves on HCBS, so they can get the most out of the program. Automated medication dispensers may qualify for support as HCBS, but this will depend on the individual’s situation and level of medical care needed. Read on for an overview of these helpful programs.
Home Community-Based Services
HCBS fall into two categories, health services and human services. Health services are more medical-centered and human services support daily living. Health services include nursing care, therapies, pharmacy and more. Human services include senior centers, adult daycare, personal care, transportation and more. These services are a great asset to family caregivers looking for assistance in helping their aging loved ones live at home.
What Medication Management Services are Covered?
Medication management services are covered by some Medicare programs. Medication management services are the supports that a person needs to safely and effectively take their medications. This includes pharmacy services such as consultations, education and information. If an individual is taking multiple medications, and has access to these services, they can work with their local pharmacy to find a routine that works best for them.
Sixteen states expressly state that they cover the cost of medication management services: CO, CT, IA, KS, MN, MT, NH, NJ, OH, PA, SC, SD, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV. Other states may have similar programs under their Medicare or Medicaid options, so be sure to check the options in your state.
Medicare VS Medicaid
HCBS programs are funded under Medicaid. Medicaid is statewide health insurance generally targeted toward low-income individuals and their families. Medicaid differs from state to state in that programs can be targeted toward pregnant women, the elderly, people with disabilities, etc. Aging individuals may have medicare, medicaid, or both. HCBS falls under Medicaid since it is regulated at the state level.
Medicare falls under Social Security and is federal health insurance for elderly, individuals with certain disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease. There are four Medicare insurance options; Part A (hospital), Part B (medical), Part C (all) and Part D (prescription drug coverage).
Since HCBS varies from state to state, individuals looking for more information should start at the state level. In general, State HCBS waivers must prove that the services will be cheaper than services in a facility, ensure the protection of the individual, provide reasonable care standards and follow a specific plan of care. However, states can waive certain Medicaid program requirements.
HCBS can help families keep their aging loved one at home if that’s what they choose. These programs can aid caregivers with services such as daily caregiving tasks, financial worries or confusion, and medical information. For more information on your state’s policies, visit https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/hcbs/transition-plan/index.html. Download your state’s waiver to get more information and start the eligibility process.