As an estate planning attorney, it’s important to be aware of programs like the Community HealthChoices (CHC) Waiver that can help your clients as they age. The CHC Waiver is a program in Pennsylvania that was established in 2018 to provide choices for individuals to stay in their home as they age and not be forced to enter a skilled nursing facility (SNF). This is great news for most people as they age because most folks prefer to remain in their homes as long as possible. With family support and programs such as this one, doing just that is often possible.
If you have clients in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (including Adams, Lancaster and York and Counties), they are fortunate that the state has a very robust program. The program often allows individuals who require care at the SNF level to remain in their home and not have to move to a SNF. The program is funded through Federal and State Medicaid dollars, such that if the individual meets the financial eligibility guidelines, services are provided at no cost to the participant.
We have clients who receive anywhere from 2-3 hours up to 22 hours a day of care. The amount of care a participant receives depends on how much hands-on care is required. The approved hours are determined by Waiver program representatives. To be eligible for the Medicaid program, an applicant must apply for Medicaid and must be both medically and financially qualified for skilled nursing facility level of care—essentially, the same guidelines used to determine eligibility for placement in a SNF with Medicaid funding. The key difference is that a CHC Waiver participant receives their skilled nursing facility-type care in a setting of their choosing, most often, in their own home.
If you would like to learn more about the Community HealthChoices Waiver in Pennsylvania, visit https://www.dhs.pa.gov/HealthChoices/HC-Services/Pages/CHC-Main.aspx or call PA Enrollment Services at 1-800-440-3989 and ask about the CHC Waiver program. For information specific to aging services in York County, visit the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) in their new location at 2401 Pleasant Valley Road in York, PA or call the AAA Information & Referral line at 717-771-9610 or 1-800-632-9073 and tell them that you would like to explore the CHC Waiver and any local services that might help you age in place in your home.