Respite Care through Medicaid Waivers
The Respite Care indicator assesses how often Medicaid HCBS waiver programs offer respite care, based on research by the National Academy for State Health Policy. 48 states offer respite services for family caregivers of older adults and people with physical disabilities through Medicaid HCBS waivers. The Scorecard credits states having respite care as part of their applicable waiver(s), with full credit awarded to states that do not assign an arbitrary cap to the amount of respite available. In 37 states, for example, the waiver language includes a set limit above which no family caregiver can receive respite, regardless of what the participant’s person-centered plan includes. Twelve states do not limit respite availability with person-centered plans determining the amount of respite available. Service caps are one way to assess a given HCBS waiver benefit. Robust data on use by state, by population, and by subgroup would provide greater insight into how respite (and other services) benefits consumers and family caregivers.
Compare State Data
This policy gives credit to states that offer respite care benefits through one or more Medicaid HCBS waivers.
- 1 point for states that offer respite care benefits with no arbitrary cap/limit on hours or days, limits only set by the person-centered plan
- .5 point (maximum of 1 point) for states that offer respite care benefits with any sort of cap or limit not from the person-centered plan
- 0 point (maximum of 1 point) for states that do not have respite benefit.
National Academy for State Health Policy
State Caps on Respite Waiver Services Vary Greatly, July 2022