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Who Qualifies for Medicaid in Rhode Island?

Gene Kirzhner Jan. 11, 2022

In Rhode Island, Medicaid, also known as Medical Assistance (MA), is administered by the State of Rhode Island Department of Human Services agency. It is essentially a health insurance program that allows low-income individuals to receive medical care at any age.

Medicaid is often provided for families with children, pregnant women, disabled individuals, adults with dependents, and seniors.


A person or couple’s income will be calculated, which will then determine the type of Medicaid they receive. For example, only the applicant’s income is counted when only one person in a married couple applies for the home and community-based services or institutional Medicaid. However, if the applicant is applying for regular Medicaid, the income of both spouses will count towards the income limit.  At the end of the day, various factors determine a person’s Medicaid type and amount.


Resources and countable assets include stocks, cash, investments, bonds, promissory notes, savings, credit union accounts, and checking accounts. However, many of these assets are not included when determining a person’s Medicaid eligibility. In simpler terms, these assets are exempt from the eligibility limit. For example, personal belongings, household furnishings, clothing, vehicles, and burial plots are exempt.

Who Qualifies When Over the Limits?

  1. Medically Needy (MN) Pathway – Also known as the Spend-Down Program, the MN Pathway allows those with high medical expenses to qualify for Medicaid despite making over the income limit.

  2. Medicaid Planning – This option is reserved for those “over-income” but cannot afford medical care. Essentially, families can work with a Medicaid planning professional to create a plan to help them become Medicaid eligible.

Specific Rhode Island Medicaid Programs

  1. Global Consumer Choice Compact Waiver – This program is also known as the Rhode Island Comprehensive Demonstration and is meant to prevent or delay seniors’ nursing home placement. The benefits from this program include adult daycare, personal care assistance, home/vehicle modifications, respite care, meal delivery, personal emergency response systems, and more.

  2. Shared Living Program – This program is also known as the Caregiver Homes Program and benefits those included in the RI Global Consumer Choice Compact Waiver. It essentially allows a caregiver to move in with the program participant to provide personal care assistance through adult daycare, transportation, and chore services.

If you would like to learn more about those who qualify for Medicaid, contact The Law Offices of Howe. Our experienced and qualified attorneys can help keep you informed and, most importantly, help you achieve the best possible outcome. We look forward to hearing from you!