Alternative Care Waiver


The Alternative Care (AC) Program is a state-funded, cost-sharing program that supports certain home and community-based services for eligible Minnesotans, age 65 and over.

This program provides home and community-based services to prevent and delay transitions to nursing facility level of care. The program also prevents the impoverishment of eligible seniors and shares the cost of care with clients by maximizing use of their own resources. It is administered by counties and tribal health agencies.

Services Provided

The AC program provides the following services:
  • Adult day service
  • Case management
  • Chore services
  • Companion services
  • Consumer-directed community supports
  • Environmental accessibility adaptations
  • Home health aides
  • Home-delivered meals
  • Homemaker services
  • Nutrition services
  • Personal care
  • Respite care
  • Skilled nursing
  • Specialized equipment and supplies
  • Training and support for family caregivers
  • Transportation


A person age 65 and older who is assessed through the Long-Term Care Consultation process is eligible for Alternative Care funding when the following criteria are met:
  • The person is in need of nursing facility level of care and admission is recommended.
  • The person's income and assets would be inadequate to fund a nursing facility stay for more than 135 days.
  • The monthly cost of AC services must be less than 75% of the average Medicaid payment limit for older people with a comparable case mix classification.
  • The person chooses to receive home and community-based services instead of nursing facility services.
  • The person pays the assessed monthly fee.
  • No other funding source is available for the community services.


You may request an assessment for services by:
  • Calling the Senior LinkAge Link® at 800-333-2433
  • Completing the Adult Intake Form
  • Contact your county's social services or public health department intake at 218-327-2941.
  • Logging onto the MinnesotaHelp website
    • MinnesotaHelp is online directory of services designed to help people in Minnesota identify resources such as human services, information and referral, financial assistance, and other forms of aid and assistance within Minnesota. It is especially rich in resource information for seniors and their caregivers, people with disabilities and their caregivers, parents and families and low-income people. This information is available in other forms to people with disabilities by contacting us at 651-431-2600. TTY users can call through Minnesota Relay at 800-627-3529. For Speech to Speech Relay, call 877-627-3848. For additional assistance with legal rights and protections for equal access to human services programs, contact our agency's ADA coordinator.