If you are applying for Medicaid Home Care, approval usually takes several months. Meanwhile, you may be paying privately for care.

Once your application is approved, Medicaid permits you to request reimbursement for the cost of your home care from the date of the application, plus up to 90 additional days, provided you were financially eligible during the period for which you are requesting reimbursement. If your request is approved, you will be reimbursed for the number of hours of care approved by your MLTC, at the Medicaid rate.

This can be thousands of dollars, so it is in your best interest to put yourself in a position to obtain reimbursement. The best advice is to use a Medicaid-licensed home care agency during this period.

If you are paying privately and are not using a Medicaid licensed agency, reimbursement is far more difficult and your chances of success are far lower. If you are paying your caregiver “off the books,” which is never recommended, it is impossible to obtain reimbursement from Medicaid for those payments. Paying someone off the books might save you some money on the front end, but there are important reasons besides your inability to get Medicaid reimbursement that make it a bad idea. Click here for a link to an article by David Cutner, “Why Paying a Home Aide ‘Off the Books’ is Not a Good Idea,” that also discusses Medicaid reimbursement.