Medicaid in Philadelphia: 101, Eligibility, How to Apply

medicaid philadephia

Aging with comfort is important, but sometimes you need a little help with medical expenses. This is especially true if you have a chronic health condition. Fortunately, Medicaid in Philadelphia is available to those who need assistance with medical expenses. So, let’s look at what Medicaid (Medical Assistance) is, who is eligible, and how to apply.

What Is Medicaid?

Medical Assistance, or Medicaid, is a program that pays for health care and mental health services for eligible individuals. Medicaid is funded jointly by the federal government and states and is meant to provide those with low income or have special needs with the medical coverage they need.

Who Is Eligible for Medicaid in Philadelphia?

In Philadelphia, Medicaid or Medical Assistance eligibility is grouped two ways:

Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI)

  • Pregnant women
  • Children 18 and under
  • Parents and caregivers of children under 21
  • Adults 19-64 whose income is at or below 133% of the Federal Income Poverty Guidelines
  • Family planning services


  • Individuals 65 and older
  • Individuals who are blind and/or disabled
  • Medical Assistance Workers with Disabilities
  • Individuals receiving long-term care or home and community-based services

What Income is Counted Towards Eligibility?

Generally, the following income is taken into consideration when determining Medical Assistance eligibility,

  • Wages
  • Interest
  • Dividends
  • Social Security
  • Veterans’ Benefits (except for MAGI MA)
  • Pensions
  • Spouse’s income if living with them

Different groups may have different income requirements. At AmeriBest, we can educate you on requirements based on your specific situation.

How Do You Apply for Medicaid in Philadelphia?

The Department of Human Services provides multiple ways for Philadelphia residents to apply for Medical Assistance. This allows you to choose the method that best meets your needs. If you don’t know if you’re eligible, you can still apply:

  • Online using the COMPASS
  • By calling 1-866-550-4355 to apply online
  • In person at your local county assistance office (CAO)
  • By downloading or picking up a paper application from your local CAO and mailing it to them when you complete the application.

Do You Need Medical Assistance (Medicaid)?

At AmeriBest Home Care, we want to empower you to choose the right care for you or your loved one. Whether you’re caring for elderly parents or someone with a disability, it’s important to consider your options carefully. Contact us today to discuss your options with one of our program coordinators. We can educate you on eligibility requirements and guide you through the application process.

How to Talk to a Loved One About Home Health Care in Allentown, PA

When a loved one needs home care, it’s crucial to have an open and honest conversation about the situation. You don’t want to spring the news on them without warning or explanation; instead, prepare to approach this topic calmly and with understanding. The following tips will help you discuss home health care in Allentown, PA, with your loved one.

Explain the Situation

You must explain the situation calmly and rationally. Your loved one may be feeling hesitant or overwhelmed, so it’s essential to approach the conversation with empathy and compassion.

You can start by asking them why they need home health care, how long they have been experiencing their current condition, what symptoms and limitations they face daily, and what risks could arise from inadequate treatment.

Discuss the Options

The next step is to discuss the options available. This discussion can be challenging, but you must have an open dialogue with your loved one. If they haven’t considered home health care in Allentown, PA, they probably won’t know what to expect or why it’s necessary.

Let Them Know You’re on Their Side

It’s critical to remember that your loved one is going through a challenging time. They may be unable to do what they used to and fear losing their independence. They may feel like they’re being judged by friends or family members who don’t understand their situation, which can make them feel even more alone. Let them know you are on their side and will work together to find the best home health care services.

Contact us to learn more about how to talk to your loved one about home health care in Allentown, PA.

When to Seek Help for Seniors in Philadelphia, PA

If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior, it can be challenging to know when you should help, especially if your loved one is independent and doesn’t want assistance from others. However, if you’ve noticed these signs that indicate they may need help, it’s time to seek help for seniors in Philadelphia, PA:

Safety Concerns

Seniors are more likely to have accidents and medical issues affecting their safety. They fall more often than younger people, leading to significant and sometimes deadly injuries. If this sounds familiar, it may be time for home care for the elderly in their own homes to maintain safety and dignity.

Isolation and Depression

If your loved one feels isolated or has lost interest in social activities, it’s time to seek help for seniors in Philadelphia, PA. Isolation can lead to depression and loneliness, which can cause a decline in physical and mental health.

Assistance with Daily Tasks

You may notice that your loved one is struggling to complete daily tasks. This struggle can be a sign that they need help with assistance in the following areas:

  • Bathing, dressing, and grooming
  • Meal preparation
  • Transportation
  • Housekeeping

If your parent or loved one requires assistance with these tasks, you should seek help immediately.

Contact us if you need help for seniors in Philadelphia, PA. We can help you determine if your loved one requires assistance.

The Differences Between Assisted Living and Independent Living in Philadelphia, PA

When people age, many of them want to continue living on their own. However, when the conditions around you change, and you need more support than you used to, you may need assisted living in Philadelphia, PA. The following will explore the differences between assisted and independent living.

Assisted Living

Assisted living is for seniors who need help with daily activities but want to maintain independence. Assisted living communities to provide various services that help seniors maintain their independence while living in a community setting.

Independent Living

Independent living is for people who can live on their own but want some help with daily tasks. Independent living communities are usually more social than assisted living communities and have more amenities.

Assisted Living Offers More Support

Assisted living facilities provide more support than independent living facilities. In assisted living in Philadelphia, PA, residents receive help with daily activities such as bathing and dressing. They also have access to medication management services, housekeeping services, and help with meal preparation.

Contact us to learn more about assisted living in Philadelphia, PA, and how it can help your loved one.

Why Choose an Agency with Choice Provider in Philadelphia, PA

Are you looking for home care assistance? Homecare agencies can help you maintain your independence and stay in your home for as long as possible. However, not all agencies are created equal. Some might offer the same services from one provider to another. You need an agency with choice provider in Philadelphia, PA, to deliver the best care.

Find the Right Care

Your agency will work with you to find the right care provider for your needs and budget. They are experts in their field, so they can help you find the right person or place that fits both categories. Your caregiver will have an excellent reputation.

Vast Array of Services

When choosing an agency with choice provider in Philadelphia, PA, you want to know they have the right staff and equipment to care for your loved one’s needs. Home health aides are trained in personal care and dementia care, rehabilitation services like speech therapy or physical therapy, and medication management.

You Are in Good Hands

You are in good hands with an agency offering choice providers. These agencies are licensed and accredited, meeting all requirements for a safe environment. Their caregivers undergo background checks and training to give you confidence in the care they deliver.

Contact us today to learn more about our agency with choice providers in Philadelphia, PA.

What Is Community First Choice?

first choice community

Affordable, quality home health care is important to aging at home and living independently. Community First Choice (CFC) was established under the State Plan as part of the Affordable Care Act of 2010. For Pennsylvania residents, it allows for seniors and people with disabilities to receive cost-effective community-based care. So let’s look at what community first choice does for Harrisburg residents.

What Is Community First Choice?

As part of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, Community First Choice provides funding for home and community-based care for people who meet the Medicaid criteria for institutional care. This allows them to live at home in their communities and saves money versus institution-based services.

Why Home and Community-Based Care Matters

The most important reason that home and community-based care is important to Harrisburg residents is because it is, overwhelmingly, what they want. Whether living with a disability or aging, people want to live independently, near their families and communities. Home and community-based care gives them that ability.

In addition, home and community care is less expensive than long-term care in a public or private institution. Per recipient, the state of Pennsylvania saves about $30,000 annually with home-based care over nursing homes.

What Services Are Included in Home and Community-Based Care?

For seniors who qualify for home and community-based care, AmeriBest Home Care provides a wide variety of services to meet their daily needs. These services include,

  • Transportation/ escort services
  • Social services/ case management
  • Nutritional counseling/ education
  • Personal care
  • Homemaker chore services
  • Home delivered meals

Do You Qualify for Home and Community-Based Services?

The state of Pennsylvania offers 12 Home and Community-Based Services to meet the needs of seniors and those with disabilities. At AmeriBest, we can educate you on eligibility requirements and assist you with follow-ups until you are approved.

Are You Looking for Home Health Care in Harrisburg, PA?

If you’re looking for home health care for you or a loved one, contact us today.

One of our program coordinators can discuss your needs and help you select the program and services right for you!

What Is Agency with Choice Program?

agency with choice

If you live with a family member with disabilities or are caring for elderly parents, choosing care can be a hard decision. While the goal of living and aging at home is to live independently, the process of finding quality home care can be less empowering than it should be. That’s why AmeriBest Home Care works closely with families to tailor care, including working with the Agency with Choice program.

What Is Agency with Choice?

To help provide individuals and families more control over their in-home health care, the Office of Developmental Programs made Participant Direction Services (PDS) available. Agency with Choice is one of these services, allowing individuals or their representatives to have direct supervisory control over the care services they receive while the Financial Management Services (FMS), such as AmeriBest Home Care, handles the employer-related paperwork such as payroll and tax records.

What’s the Difference Between Agency with Choice and Contracting through a Care Agency?

Agency with Choice provides individuals and their families with more control over their care. When you contract with an agency like AmeriBest to supervise your care, the standards your caregiver meets are determined by the company. While you are the patient and client the caregiver is responsible for, the agency still acts as their direct supervisor.

With Agency with Choice, the caregiver is considered an employee of AmeriBest for the purposes of payroll, tax, and other employment considerations. However, you directly supervise and manage the care they provide. This makes it easier to tailor the services you need and empowers you or your representative to directly supervise your care.

Who Is Eligible?

Individuals who live with a disability or autism and live at home or with a family member or friend may be eligible for Agency with Choice. Not all in-home care services may qualify for the program. However, services typically covered include,

  • In-home and community support services
  • Companion services
  • Respite services
  • Homemaker and chore services

Is Agency with Choice in Philadelphia Right for You?

At AmeriBest Home Care, we want to empower you to choose the right care for you or your loved one. Whether you’re caring for elderly parents or someone with a disability, it’s important to consider your options carefully. Contact us today to discuss your options with one of our program coordinators.

Women’s History Month: Women in Caregiving

AmeriBest Home Care Harrisburg

March is Women’s History Month. At AmeriBest Home Care Harrisburg, we’re excited to honor the women who helped shape what care is through their work and advocacy. Let’s look at some of the most influential caregivers in history.

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt

Though Franklin Roosevelt’s polio left him paralyzed, he still became President in 1933. As strong and influential as he was during a tumultuous time in US History, it was the care that his wife Eleanor provided that enabled him to be the leader we remember today. When Franklin Roosevelt passed away, Eleanor continued to advocate for effective and empathetic care for those who needed it most.

Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler

In 1864, Rebecca Lee Crumpler became the first African American woman in the US to earn an M.D. degree. She focused her work on the care of women and children and further secured her place in medical history with her Book of Medical Discourses.

Anne Sullivan

When Hellen Keller lost her sight and hearing from scarlet fever as an infant, her family saw little hope for her. However, Anne Sullivan rose to the challenge, helping Hellen learn to communicate and interact with the world around her.

Hellen Keller

With the help of Anne Sullivan, Hellen Keller was able to overcome incredible obstacles to become an activist and speaker. Among her numerous causes, Hellen Keller became a fierce advocate for people with disabilities.

Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds was best known as a Hollywood actress (Singin’ in the Rain as well as the voice of Charlotte in Charlotte’s web). She was also the mother of one of the most beloved actresses in science fiction – Carrie Fisher. What most don’t know is that Debbie also spent her life as a caregiver to her own mother and grandmother when she was 14 and even her own daughter Carrie when she showed signs of depression and bipolar disorder.

Rosalynn Carter

Another First Lady on our list, Rosalynn Carter, became a caregiver at the young age of 12 when her father was diagnosed with leukemia. In addition to serving as a caregiver for other family members, she has written books about caregiving and started the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers to promote the health, strength, and resilience of those who dedicate their lives to serving others.

AmeriBest Home Care Harrisburg

AmeriBest Home Care Harrisburg, PA

If you’re looking for home health care for you or a loved one, contact us today.

One of our program coordinators can discuss your needs and help you select the program and services right for you.

Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month: The Facts, Stats, and You

best choice home health care

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most widespread neurological diseases affecting young people around the world. Unfortunately, most people know little about this disease and how it impacts the lives of those with it. At AmeriBest Home Care Allentown, we believe in educating our communities about their and their loved one’s health. Here’s the 101 on MS to help you make the best choice in home health care for your loved one.

What Is Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain and between the body and the brain. The cause of MS is unknown. The disease triggers the immune system to attack the central nervous system. The resulting damage causes interruption of signals to and from the brain resulting in numbness, tingling, mood changes, memory problems, pain, fatigue, blindness, and even paralysis. Because MS is unpredictable, each person’s experience with the disease is different, and losses may be temporary or long-lasting.

Risk Factors for MS

Researchers are still trying to determine the environmental factors that can lead to MS. For example, people with higher levels of vitamin D are less likely to have MS, suggesting that vitamin D deficiency could be a factor. While we try to learn other environmental factors of the disease, we do know that,

  • Women are three times more likely than men to develop MS
  • People with biological relatives with MS are more likely to develop it
  • MS is not inherited, but the genetic predisposition may be
  • Children of MS patients are 10 – 20 times more likely to develop MS than the general population

Diagnosis and Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis

Because symptoms and severity of MS vary from person to person, the disease is difficult to diagnose. If you suspect you or your loved one may have MS, it’s vital to seek a diagnosis from a medical professional who concentrates on MS diagnosis and treatment, as they will be more likely to recognize and identify symptoms.

There is no cure for MS, so treatment focuses on managing symptoms. Because the disease is unpredictable, finding the right treatment is often a matter of trial and error. The focus is always in limiting the severity and length of MS attacks. Depending on symptoms and their severity as well as the progression of the disease, treatments can include,

  • Corticosteroids to reduce nerve inflammation
  • Plasma exchange (removing the liquid part from your blood and mixing your blood cells with a protein solution and returning it to your body)
  • Interferon beta medications to interfere with the disease and increase nerve growth
  • Glatiramer acetate to help block the immune system’s ability to attack nerve cells
  • Monoclonal antibodies to target cells that attack the nervous system
  • Daily or twice-daily oral medications that reduce relapse rates like teriflunomide and dimethyl fumarate

In addition, your doctor may recommend dietary changes, physical therapy, and other treatments to help manage symptoms or reduce their severity.

How Home Health Care Helps MS Patients

For those living with MS, life can be as unpredictable as the disease itself. One day may be fine, with the next bringing a sudden flare. It’s important that MS patients have knowledgeable caregivers who can help them meet their daily needs when MS attacks occur. When you choose a home care provider, consider the tasks you or your loved one needs assistance with on a daily basis and when an MS attack occurs.

Are You Looking for the Best Choice in Home Health Care in Allentown, PA?

If you’re looking for home health care for you or a loved one, contact us today.

One of our program coordinators can discuss your needs and help you select the program and services right for you.