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Unlocking Care Through Medicaid: How CDPAP Opens Doors for NYC Residents

What is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a public health insurance program that covers low-income individuals and families. It is jointly funded by state and federal governments and managed by the states. Medicaid covers a comprehensive set of health benefits, including doctor visits, hospital care, long-term care, and prescription drugs.

To qualify for Medicaid, applicants must meet certain income and asset limits that vary by state. Income limits are based on the Federal Poverty Level. In general, Medicaid covers low-income adults, children, pregnant women, seniors, and people with disabilities.

Medicaid plays a critical role in providing health coverage to vulnerable populations. It covers nearly 75 million Americans, including almost 40% of children in the US. Medicaid accounts for over 16% of total healthcare expenditures nationwide.

The program aims to provide access to affordable care and improve health outcomes for beneficiaries. It provides a safety net for America’s poorest citizens and protects them from burdensome medical costs. Medicaid participation is voluntary for states but mandatory for eligible beneficiaries.

Medicaid Eligibility in New York City

To qualify for Medicaid in New York City, you must meet certain income limits, asset limits, household size requirements, and residency requirements.

Income Limits

  • Medicaid has income limits based on the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). In 2023, the monthly income limit for a single-person household is $1,153, and for a household of two, it’s $1,546.

Asset Limits

  • Medicaid also has asset limits. Countable assets cannot exceed $16,800 for a household of one and $25,750 for a household of two in 2023. Assets include things like bank accounts, stocks, and property.

Household Size

  • Household size includes the applicant plus a spouse and any dependent children under 21 living in the home. Household size is used to determine the income and asset limits.


  • To qualify for Medicaid, you must be a resident of New York State and a U.S. citizen or eligible immigrant. Residency is not tied to citizenship or the length of time spent in the state.

Medicaid Managed Care

Most Medicaid recipients enroll in managed care plans. These are health plans organized and paid per person rather than fee-for-service. The plans receive a set amount per enrollee and are responsible for providing all covered services.

There are several types of managed care plans in New York:

  • Mainstream Managed Care Organizations (MCOs)
  • Health and Recovery Plans (HARPs) for people with significant behavioral health needs
  • Fully Integrated Duals Advantage (FIDA) plans for people dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare
  • Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) for people age 55+ who need nursing home level care

Enrollees get to choose from available plans in their county. The plans coordinate all medical care, including referrals to specialists and hospitals in their network. Many also offer extra benefits not traditionally covered by Medicaid like dental, vision and transportation services.

The goal of managed care is to reduce costs and improve health outcomes by emphasizing preventive care and care coordination. Enrollees must have a primary care provider who oversees their care.

Medicaid Coverage of Home Care

Medicaid covers a wide range of home care services that allow eligible individuals to receive care in their own homes rather than in a nursing home or other facility. These services aim to help people remain as independent as possible while getting the support they need for daily living.

One of the main Medicaid home care programs is the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP). This program allows chronically ill or physically disabled individuals to hire, train, schedule, and supervise their own home care aides. The consumer has flexibility and control over their care plan while the program is funded through Medicaid.

To qualify for CDPAP, individuals must be eligible for Medicaid and require at least some assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) like bathing, dressing, eating, etc. A physician must document the need for home care. CDPAP is available to people of any age who meet the eligibility criteria.

In addition to CDPAP, Medicaid may cover other home health services like nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and medical equipment. Coverage depends on the person’s level of disability/illness and care needs. Home health agencies can provide some of these services.

Overall, Medicaid home care enables people to avoid institutionalization if they prefer in-home care. Programs like CDPAP are essential for making this possible. Meeting Medicaid eligibility requirements is key for accessing these benefits.

What is CDPAP?

The Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) is a Medicaid program that provides chronically ill or physically disabled individuals the opportunity to hire their own personal care aides. CDPAP allows participants to have more control and flexibility over their care, compared to traditional home care services.

With CDPAP, the person receiving care is considered the employer, and they are responsible for recruiting, hiring, training, and scheduling their caregivers. Caregivers can include family members, friends, or professionals. The only criteria is that the caregiver must be over 18 years old, have the required skills, and pass a background check.

The participant or their designated representative handles administrative tasks like payroll, taxes, and compliance. Fiscal intermediaries are organizations that can assist with these fiscal management responsibilities.

The services covered through CDPAP are similar to traditional home care and include assistance with activities like bathing, dressing, cooking, cleaning, and errands. The goal of CDPAP is to allow chronically ill and disabled individuals to maintain independence and remain in their homes rather than move to a nursing facility.

CDPAP Eligibility

To be eligible for CDPAP, you must meet certain medical and financial criteria.

Medical Eligibility

Medically, to qualify for CDPAP, you must need at least some assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) like bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, mobility/transfers, and taking medication. You also must need skilled nursing services, therapies, or other medical care at home.

A doctor, nurse practitioner, or social worker will assess your medical needs to determine if you meet the requirements. They will look at whether you need hands-on assistance, cueing/supervision, or oversight for ADLs and medical tasks.

Financial Eligibility

Financially, your income and assets must be below a certain level to get Medicaid and qualify for CDPAP. Medicaid eligibility depends on your household size, monthly income, and resources.

In New York, you can have income up to 138% of the federal poverty level to get Medicaid. For example, in 2022 the limit is $1,563 per month for an individual and $2,106 per month for a household of two.

Asset limits also apply. You can have up to $16,800 in assets as an individual or $25,750 as a married couple. Certain things don’t count like your home, car, burial plot, etc.

You must also meet residency requirements to get Medicaid in New York. You typically need to have lived in NY for 30+ days before applying.

Applying for Medicaid

To apply for Medicaid in New York City, you need to visit your local Medicaid office based on the borough you live in. You can find your Medicaid office by entering your zip code on the HRA Medicaid Office Locator page.

When applying, you’ll need to bring the following documents:

  • Proof of identity – This can be a driver’s license, state ID, passport, or birth certificate.

  • Proof of NYC address – Bring a piece of mail, lease, or utility bill showing your name and address.

  • Proof of income – Pay stubs, tax returns, pension statements, etc.

  • Social Security numbers for everyone in your household.

  • Information on any health insurance you currently have.

At the Medicaid office, you’ll meet with a case worker to fill out the application. They will interview you and help gather all the needed paperwork. The application process typically takes 30-90 days for approval.

You may qualify for expedited Medicaid if you have an urgent medical need. This can approve Medicaid coverage in just a few days. Discuss this with the case worker if you have an upcoming surgery, serious illness, or other immediate care need.

After submitting the Medicaid application, you’ll receive a letter informing you if you’ve been approved and the level of Medicaid benefits you qualify for. If denied, you can appeal the decision and provide more documentation as needed.

With Medicaid benefits in place, you can then apply for CDPAP and receive funding for home care services. Be sure to keep a copy of your Medicaid approval letter to include in the CDPAP application.

Enrolling in CDPAP

Once approved for Medicaid, you can enroll in the CDPAP program. Here’s how to get started:

  • Contact your local Medicaid office and inform them you want to enroll in CDPAP. They will provide you with a list of CDPAP providers that serve your county.

  • Choose a provider from the list. The provider will walk you through the full enrollment process, including completing necessary paperwork.

  • You will need to undergo an assessment by a registered nurse to determine the number of hours of care you require per week. The nurse will create a plan of care.

  • Select and hire your home care workers. You can hire family members or friends, with some restrictions. The provider will conduct background checks on the workers you select.

  • Your provider will handle payroll, taxes, and administrative tasks related to managing your home care workers.

  • You will receive an approved budget based on your plan of care that can be used to pay your home care workers and cover program expenses.

  • Once fully enrolled, you will work with your provider’s case manager who will oversee your care plan on an ongoing basis.

The CDPAP provider you select will guide you through every step of the enrollment and implementation process. They will ensure you are able to access this Medicaid benefit and start receiving home care.

Maintaining Eligibility

To maintain Medicaid and CDPAP eligibility, there are ongoing requirements recipients must meet. The two main areas to pay attention to are income changes and the annual recertification process.

Reporting Income Changes

If your income increases during the year, it’s important to report that to Medicaid promptly. Medicaid eligibility is based on monthly income, so if your income goes up, it could make you ineligible for that month.

For example, if you receive a one-time bonus at work, report that bonus payment to Medicaid right away. Even if it was just a one-time boost that month, it could temporarily disqualify you if you don’t report it.

Be sure to report any changes in unearned income as well, like increased pension payments or Social Security benefits.

The key is reporting any income changes within 10 days to avoid disruptions in your Medicaid benefits. If you wait until your next recertification, you may end up with gaps in eligibility and coverage.

Annual Recertification

To maintain Medicaid and CDPAP eligibility, recipients need to complete an annual recertification process. This involves submitting updated documentation on income, resources, and other criteria proving you still qualify.

Typically, Medicaid sends recertification paperwork 60-90 days before your renewal date. Complete the paperwork and gather the required documents as early as possible. Processing times can take up to 45 days.

If you receive a request for missing information or clarification, respond right away. Without a complete renewal application, your Medicaid benefits may be disrupted.

Following the reporting and recertification requirements helps ensure you don’t experience any gaps in Medicaid and CDPAP coverage. If you have questions or need help navigating the process, reach out to your Managed Care Organization or local Medicaid office. Staying on top of eligibility criteria is crucial for ongoing in-home care services.

Appealing Denials

If your Medicaid or CDPAP application is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. The appeal process provides an opportunity to have your case reviewed again and potentially overturned.

Overview of Appeal Process

  • Request a fair hearing within 60 days of receiving the denial notice. This can be done by phone, mail, fax, or online.

  • Gather any documentation that supports your eligibility like financial records, medical records, and care plans. These will be submitted as evidence.

  • A fair hearing gives you the chance to present your case before an administrative law judge. You can bring a lawyer or advocate for support.

  • The judge will make a new determination after reviewing all evidence and testimony. If approved, benefits must be provided retroactively.

  • If denied again, you can file an appeal with the Medicaid Appeals Unit or sue in court within 4 months. Further appeals are possible all the way up to the Supreme Court.

  • Reach out to legal aid organizations for help navigating the appeals process and overturning unjust denials. Don’t give up if you believe you qualify for these essential benefits.

The appeals process provides critical recourse if wrongfully denied Medicaid or CDPAP eligibility. Understand your rights and don’t hesitate to challenge unfavorable decisions. With persistence and valid evidence, denials can often be successfully overturned.

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