Do Hawaii's Medicaid Waiver(s) cover Assisted Living?

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Summary: In keeping with a common theme in the assisted living industry, no two states are alike when it comes to care, state programs, regulations and support. Hawaiians may have a tougher time not only finding information, but also covering the cost of assisted living. However, there are some alternatives that might help.

I’m on sort of a mission lately to find out what states offer in terms of help for seniors, covering the cost of care, especially assisted living, and specifically, Medicaid Waiver programs.

Not all states are created equally in this regard. I’ve researched several states lately that have very robust programs to help low-income seniors to cover assisted living costs, or comparable care through community or in-home services. Many of these supports come through variations of Medicaid & Waivers.

The downsides:

Hawaii does not have a Waiver program that helps directly with the cost of living in an assisted living facility. If there is, this program is nowhere online, and I’m sure most people are not aware of it, nor will they be.Hawaii’s Medicaid Waivers & Assisted Living

Hawaii has had a few programs for seniors and elderly citizens in the past that have been discontinued in recent years.

Information about any waiver programs, and participating facilities is scant, at best, and will take some digging and footwork to research, and obtain the information you need.

About the State’s Waivers:

The main Medicaid Waiver in Hawaii is called “DD/MR.” There is a very detailed DD/MR Waiver Service Description which is a 6-page .pdf document. It’s detailed, and a bit complicated, but does shed some light on the nitty-gritty-details of this waiver.

Updated DD/MR description.

Hawaii's Medicaid Waivers & Assisted Living

This Waiver does not cover care in an institutional setting, but can provide assisted-living-type services and supports for seniors living in the community, and at home, such as:

  • Adult day health
  • Personal assistance
  • Respite
  • Habilitation
  • Specialized medical equipment and supplies
  • Transportation

What else might be available?

At times, living in an assisted living facility simply might not be an option due to costs or other factors. But, help may still be needed with getting to and from appointment, with the activities of daily living, personal hygiene, food delivery and preparation, to name a few. These are services typically offered at most commercial facilities, but can also be received while still living at home.

This may offer a viable ‘bridge’ from being completely independent, to needing to live in a facility full time.

Enter, the AID TO THE AGED, BLIND, AND DISABLED (AABD) program offered through the State’s Department of Human Services. Again, this program won’t cover living in a care home or facility, but can offer life, and quality-of-life-saving services and support to Hawaii’s seniors who need it. This program is geared towards low-income seniors, and there are age and income thresholds that need to be met in order to qualify.

Lastly, to learn more, to find providers, and to have a trustworthy place to ask questions about Hawaii’s Medicaid Waivers, please visit the Hawaii Waiver Providers Association.

Find state-data and facility lists for Hawaii Statewide

Responses to this article

Francis Wrote:

Oh my goodness, Hawaii is not cheap, and I feel for anyone who is not “flush” with bucks who might need assisted living or care there. Too bad the state doesn’t offer anything substantial in terms of help or support, at least from what I can see.

21 May 2014 at 9:24 am