Elderly and Medicaid Waivers in South Carolina

Experience the Kindness of Waivers in the Palmetto State

Regina Woodard

By Regina Woodard for Assisted Living Directory


Make sure to have a glass of water and fan with you while sitting on the porch when you’re in South Carolina. The 23rd most popular state in the US, South Carolina is one of the original thirteen colonies that began what would become the United States. Besides beautiful mountains, forests, and beaches, South Carolina is also home to several lakes that both locals and tourists can enjoy.

Another aspect that locals can enjoy, especially those who are elderly, are some of the many waivers that are able to help elderly residents and their families.


Home and Community Based Services Waiver

The Home and Community Based Services waiver or HCBS, helps to assist recipients of Medicaid to continue to live in the community instead of or avoiding institutionalization. This waiver helps to provide services and supports such as adult day health care and nursing, assistive tech and appliances, incontinence supplies personal care, respite, in-home support, day activity and more.

The HCBS also covers several other waivers, including the Community Choices Waiver, the HIV/AIDS waiver, the Community Supports waiver, the Mechanical Ventilator waiver, and several others.

  • Community Choices Waiver: The CCW is for individuals with disabilities that want to avoid placement within an institution. Some of the services provided include adult day care, transportation, nursing home transition, PERS, telephone monitoring, personal care, respite, case management, and others. This waiver is for those who are 65 and other, regardless if they have a disability or not.
  • Community Supports Waiver: The CSW waiver is for those individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, with no age limit. This waiver also allows for individuals to manage and control their own care, keeping them within the community and out of an institution.
  • Head and Spinal Cord Injury (HASCI) Waiver: HASCI is for those individuals who have suffered from a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or a similar disability. This waiver is to help individuals stay within in their homes and communities instead of being placed within a nursing facility.
  • Mechanical Ventilator Waiver: This waiver is for individuals who need mechanical ventilation. For individuals who are 21 years or older, this waiver provides assistance with general household activities, such as bathing, dressing, meal prep, and housekeeping, environmental modification, PERS, prescription drugs, and more.

To be eligible for the HCBS waiver, individuals must be 18 or older, be financially eligible for Medicaid, and meet the requirements for receiving care that would normally be reserved for a nursing facility. The individual waivers within the HCBS, while having their own age requirements, may have meet or exceed Medicaid.

Palmetto SeniorCare Waiver

As part of the Palmetto Health program, the Palmetto SeniorCare wavier or PSC, is an exclusive program for those seniors living in the city of Columbia, specifically the Richland and Lexington counties. This is the only PACE program – Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly – within the state of South Carolina and the only one that is directly structured as part of a hospital organization. Some of the services being offered by PSC include adult day healthcare, primary and specialty medical care, outpatient medical services, home health care, nursing home care, and more.

To be eligible for this waiver, individuals must be 55 years or older, are certified by the Department of Health and Human Services for meeting the requirements for nursing home requirements, and want to remain within the community instead of being institutionalized. Individuals can also be eligible for Veterans Affair PACE.

Community Long Term Care

As with the HBCS, the Community Long Term Care or CLTC also offers several programs that help individuals who want to continue living in the community assisting them with their care and who meet the financial eligibility for Medicaid.

CLTC has some overlap with the HBCS, including the community choices waiver, the HIV/AIDS waiver, and the mechanical ventilator waiver.

South Carolina provides many different waivers for their residents who are utilizing Medicaid, with more information being found on the official South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services page or you can call them on their toll free number at 888.549.0820. The office will be able to assist individuals and their families not only navigate through both Medicare and Medicaid procedures and process, but discuss additional benefits that recipients are eligible for.

The summers may be hot and balmy in the state, but luckily, residents can keep their cool when it comes to discovering assistance for Medicaid and the waivers associated.


South Carolina

Community Supports Waiver

South Carolina HCBS Waiver Programs

Mechanical Ventilator Dependent

Palmetto SeniorCare

Photo by S. Means