Elderly Waiver Program helps seniors access programs

What is the Elderly Waiver Program?

The Elderly Waiver (EW) program funds home and community-based services for people age 65 and older who are eligible for Medical Assistance (MA) and require the level of care provided in a nursing home, but choose to reside in the community. The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) operates the EW program under a federal waiver to Minnesota's Medicaid State Plan. Counties, Tribes and Managed Care Organizations administer the program.

What types of services are available?

Covered services include visits by a skilled nurse, home health aide, homemaker, companion, personal care assistant, as well as home-delivered meals, adult day care, supplies and equipment, personal emergency response systems, caregiver assessment, home modifications, and certified community residential services (customized living services, foster care, residential care).

Who is eligible?

  • • Those eligible for the EW program are 65 or older, eligible for Medical Assistance, and need nursing home level of care as determined by the Long-Term Care Consultation process.
  • • The EW service cost for an individual cannot be greater than the estimated nursing home cost for that same individual.
  • This program is limited to available openings.

    If you're interested in learning more about the program, call the Senior LinkAge Line® at (800) 333-2433. It's a free call and a free service.

    To apply for the Alternative Care program, please call a Long-Term Care Consultation Intake worker in the county where you live. If you are looking for assistance with other services or more information about counties, contact your local county social service office or public health office.

    For facts about the Elderly Waiver program, such as how many Minnesotans are served, how many dollars are spent, and state statutes that apply, see the Elderly Waiver Fact Sheet.

    Bulletins related to Elderly Waiver services can be found under bulletin topic #25 Aging Initiative.

    To view the brochure regarding the Alternative Care and Elderly Waiver Programs please see "Seniors can get help paying for services to stay in their homes".

    A copy of the provider standards are found in the MHCP Provider Manual.

    Current Elderly Waiver service definitions and provider standards(PDF)

    EW Customized Living and 24-Hour Customized Living

    EW Customized Living Tools

    For more information, call the Minnesota Department of Human Services Aging & Adult Services Unit at (651) 431-2600. For TTY communication, contact us through the Minnesota Relay Service at (800) 627-3529 (TTY) or (877) 627-3848 (speech-to-speech relay service). This document is available in alternative formats to individuals with disabilities by calling either of these numbers.

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