Understanding Ohio’s PASSPORT Medicaid Waiver program

Most older people prefer to live independently, in their own homes, for as long as possible. It’s better for them, better for families and better for communities overall. But, as we age, some of our abilities begin to decline, making it difficult to take care of things in quite the way we once did. It’s at this point that many start to think about a nursing home placement.

Fortunately, Ohio’s PASSPORT Medicaid waiver program can help eligible older Ohioans receive long-term services and support they need in their own homes. Below are some answers to frequently asked questions regarding the program.

Q. Who is eligible for the PASSPORT Medicaid waiver program?
A. The major requirements for eligibility include:
• Age 60 or older
• Financially eligible for Medicaid (for 2017, earning no more than $2,205 per month single and no more than $2,000 in countable assets)
• Frail enough to require a nursing home level of care; and
• Able to remain safely at home, as determined and approved by your physician

Another stipulation is that the cost of the PASSPORT services you need at the time of application cannot be more than 60 percent of the cost of nursing home care. There are some additional stipulations and requirements.

Q. How do you qualify for PASSPORT?
A. Persons who are interested in the program undergo a telephone screening to determine Medicaid eligibility and care needs. Information about long-term care options is also provided. Once an individual has been found to be eligible, a case manager is assigned to work with the client to develop a package of in-home services to be provided. This case manager provides continual monitoring of the quality of services and changes the care plan as the client’s condition changes.

Q. What services will the PASSPORT program cover?
A. The PASSPORT program covers a variety of services designed to help the participant avoid nursing home admission. This includes adult day care and respite care; personal care aides and homemaker services; home-delivered meals; emergency response systems; nursing care; medical equipment and supplies; minor home modifications and chore services; occupational, physical and speech therapies; transportation; counseling and social work services; nutrition consultation; and community transition services. In addition, PASSPORT waiver recipients are also eligible to receive state plan Medicaid services.

Q. How can I find out if I’m eligible?
A. For more information and to determine your eligibility, contact the Ohio Agency on Aging District 7 office by phone: 1-800-582-7277 (TTY 711); by email to [email protected]; or visit the website at aaa7.org.

Q. Are there any agencies in this area that can provide PASSPORT services?
A. Yes. Care Companions of Ohio, with offices in Franklin Furnace, is a PASSPORT qualified agency that serves residents from our facility in Portsmouth in Ohio. Care Companions of Ohio can be reached by calling (855) 703-8209. Services available from Care Companions include help with bathing dressing and bathroom; companionship services, such as reading visiting and playing games; shopping (groceries, clothing, pharmacy); transportation to medical appointments, the beauty/barber shop; cleaning and laundry services; meal preparation, and more.