Like everyone else, elders in our society have the right to be in control of their lives, the right to take risks and overcome them and the right to learn from that experience. Sadly, advanced age often comes in the way and it becomes difficult for the elderly to perform even some of the most basic day-to-day tasks. In order to address this issue, the New York State Department of Health administers the Nursing Home Transition and Diversion Medicaid Waiver, which is a Home and Community Based Services program.

The NHTD program uses money received from Medicaid to provide certain services to the elderly. These services are meant to assist the elderly in living their day to day lives while being an integral part of the community and the society. An individual can opt for the NHTD Medicaid Waiver services when informal support and services, or local, state and federal services, or Medicaid State Plan services are not sufficient to assure the health and wellbeing of the individual. The NHTD Medicaid Waiver services can also be availed if it is found that obtaining such services are the most optimum utilization of Medicaid benefits.

In order to be eligible for the NHTD Medicaid Waiver services, an individual must qualify for all of the nine aspects mentioned in the eligibility criteria, details of which are available on the state’s Department of Health’s website. If eligible, an individual can register as a participant in the program by going through a process that involves: referral to the program by a specialist; intake in the program as determined by the specialist; the actual application stage; and the final determination of eligibility for participation.

Participation in the NHTD Medicaid Waiver can prove to be a complex exercise, especially if the prospective participant is elderly. The right information can go a long way in making sure that elders in New York live their lives with “personal empowerment, increased independence, greater community inclusion, self-reliance and meaningful productive activities,” which is also the guiding philosophy behind the waiver program.