Using Medicaid to Cover Services for Elderly Persons in Residential Care Settings: State Policy Maker and Stakeholder Views in Six States. General Lack of Funding

12/01/2003

In every state, respondents noted that expansion of residential care for low income elderly persons in general, and Medicaid-eligible persons in particular, would be very difficult given state budget shortfalls. In Florida, one respondent noted that people in residential care settings are not eligible for many public benefits, such as Food Stamps and energy rebates, because of program requirements regarding residency. Eligibility for such benefits was viewed by several respondents as a way to make the room and board component of residential care settings more affordable. In fact, persons who live in specific types of group community living arrangements with no more than 16 persons can receive Food Stamps if they are either blind or disabled and meet the federal financial eligibility criteria. Wisconsin has an initiative to encourage use of this option for residential care residents who would qualify.

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