Elderly Waiver


The Elderly Waiver (EW) program funds home and community-based services for people age 65 and older who are eligible for Medical Assistance (MA) and require the level of care provided in a nursing home, but choose to reside in the community.

The Minnesota Department of Human Services operates the EW program under a federal waiver to Minnesota's Medicaid State Plan. Counties, tribal entities and health plan partners administer the program.

The EW program is described in Minnesota Statute 256B.0915. Information on managed care for seniors can be found on the Minnesota Department of Health website.

Services Available

Covered services include:
  • Adult day service
  • Case Management
  • Chore services
  • Companion services
  • Consumer-directed community supports
  • Environmental accessibility adaptations
  • Family caregiver (includes training and education, coaching and counseling with assessment, and memory care)
  • Home health aides
  • Home-delivered meals
  • Homemaker services
  • Licensed community residential services (customized living services or 24-hour customized living services, family foster care, residential care)
  • Personal care assistant
  • Respite care
  • Skilled nursing
  • Specialized equipment and supplies
  • Training for informal caregivers
  • Transitional supports
  • Transportation (non Medical)


Those eligible for the Elderly Waiver program are 65 or older, eligible for Medical Assistance and need nursing home level of care as determined by the Long-Term Care Consultation process.

The EW service cost for an individual cannot be greater than the estimated nursing home cost for that same individual.


Probable alternatives include Medicaid-certified skilled nursing facilities and certified board-and-care homes. The average cost of these alternative settings is $4,948 per person, per month.


You may request an assessment for services by:
  • Calling the Senior LinkAge Link® at 800-333-2433
  • Completing the Adult Intake Form
  • Contacting your county's social services or public health department intake at 218-327-2941
  • Contacting your health plan provider if you are already on Medical Assistance
  • 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.