North Dakota Assisted Living and In Home Care Medicaid Waiver Information and Rules for 2017

Introduction

North Dakota provides long-term care resources to seniors through the North Dakota Department of Human Services (DHS). Aging Services provided by North Dakota DHS include: Aging Services; Adult foster care licensing; Dementia care; Aging and Disability Resource LINK; Family Caregiver Support program; Service Payments for the Elderly and Disabled (SPED), and the Expanded-SPED programs; Long-Term Care Ombudsman program; Older Americans Act services: assistive devices, senior meals, health screenings, elder legal assistance, options counseling, and Senior Companion program; Senior Community Services Employment Program Telecommunications equipment distribution program; and Vulnerable Adult Protective Services (both direct service and contracts). You can contact the DHS for more information on these services by clicking here or by calling N.D. Department of Human Services by phone at 701.328.2310 or 800.472.2622.

The North Dakota DHS also provides home-and-community based long-term care services paid for by Medicaid for certain populations, including seniors over 65 years old who would need nursing home care but choose to receive services in a community setting (such as assisted living) or in their own home.

Medicaid Waiver Program for Assisted Living and In Home Care

North Dakota Medicaid Waiver for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS Waiver)

The Medicaid Waiver for Home and Community Based Services provides service options for a continuum of home and community based services in the least restrictive environment. The goal is to adequately and appropriately sustain individuals in their own homes and communities and to delay or divert institutional care. In order to successfully meet the mandate, a consumer-centered, affordable delivery system has been established for delivery of in-home services to the elderly and physically disabled. This system involves a partnership between the local County Social Service Boards, the North Dakota Department of Human Services, informal networks, and consumers/family members.

The North Dakota Department of Human Services, Medical Services Division is the operating agency and administers the Waiver.

Services

Services include: Adult Day Care; Adult Family Foster Care; Adult Residential Services; Case Management; Chore Service; Emergency Response System; Environmental Modification; Extended Personal Care / Nurse Education; Family Personal Care; Home-Delivered Meals; Homemaker Services; Non-Medical Transportation; Respite Care; Specialized Equipment; Supported Employment; and Transitional Living Services

Eligibility

  1. Health: An applicant must require a Nursing Home Level of Care.
  2. Financial: An applicant must meet the Social Security Disability criteria to be financially eligible for the Medicaid-waiver or qualify through the “medically-needy” pathway. as a 209(b) state North Dakota can set more restrictive income limits than otherwise would be allowed. For 2017, to be eligible for SSI payments, an individual cannot receive more than $735 a month (or $1,103 for a couple). The maximum amount of assets an individual may have is $3,000 (or $6,000 for a couple). If you are qualifying under the “medically-needy” category then the maximum monthly income limit for 2017 is $834. However, under this category any income that is spent on medical or remedial care services will be disregarded for purposes of Medicaid income limits (known as “spenddown” provision).The resource limits above are the same. For a non-applicant spouse, the maximum amount of resources allowed without counting towards eligibility is $120,900 for 2017. Furthermore, the non-applicant spouse may maintain a monthly income of up to $3,022.50 for home maintenance and other monthly expenses.

Practical Considerations

There is no Miller Trust allowed in North Dakota and the spenddown income limit under the “medically-needy” category is very low. Unless you are spending the majority of your monthly income on medical needs then it would be hard to qualify unless you meet the lower threshold of $735 a month for SSI benefits. There is no special income limit therefore the ability to qualify for Medicaid is more difficult under the more restrictive standards set by North Dakota.

Conclusion

North Dakota is not a particularly good state for Medicaid long-term care services because of its income requirements and small enrollment cap. The lack of a special income limit as a 209(b) state means that an applicant’s monthly income must be below $1,000 no matter if they are qualifying through the SSI benefit pathway or through the medically-needy spend down provision. If, however, you wish to receive Medicaid for long-term care and spend a significant amount of your monthly income on medical services then a Medicaid Planning specialist may help you qualify for benefits sooner and save you money.