Whether you’re a caregiver for a senior or a senior yourself, you may have questions about how Senior LIFE works and what it entails. Read on for a look at some frequently asked Senior LIFE FAQs and their answers.
What is the LIFE program?
“LIFE” stands for “Living Independence for the Elderly,” which is a joint Medicare/Medicaid program that provides a comprehensive array of health and support services to qualified seniors so that they can continue to live independently in their home and community.
The LIFE program is a part of a national Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a model that was founded over 40 years ago and has been in the state of Pennsylvania for nearly 20 years.
How can Senior LIFE help seniors stay at home?
Senior LIFE is able to help seniors remain in the comfort of their home by combining services available at our center with home care services and a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week on-call nurse. This helps ensure that members get the care they need, while caregivers get peace of mind.
How much does Senior LIFE cost?
If you or your loved one are eligible for—or already receiving—medical assistance, there is no cost to enroll in the Senior LIFE program. There is no monthly premium, deductible, copay, or out-of-pocket cost associated with Senior LIFE services for members living in the community. Many seniors qualify for long-term care medical assistance and don’t know it. Contact the Senior LIFE location nearest you or call 1-877-998-LIFE (5433) to talk with an outreach coordinator who can help determine if you’re financially eligible.
For those who don’t meet income guidelines, there is an option to private pay. Members who have Medicare Part B will continue to pay that premium.
What services does Senior LIFE provide?
Members have customized care plans to meet their individual needs. Upon enrolling in Senior LIFE, members meet with an interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, social workers, rehabilitation therapists, and others. This healthcare team will work with you and your family to determine a plan of care that is individualized to meet your specific needs. The services you receive will be based on this care plan that you will approve. If your medical or social needs change, the care plan changes to meet those needs.
Senior LIFE provides all medically necessary benefits that a member needs, including nutritious meals, transportation to and from the Senior LIFE center, medical care, social services and counseling, prescription medications, and rehabilitation services. Members are also able to participate in activities, exercise, and events at the LIFE Health and Wellness center.
Senior LIFE services include:
- Primary care
- Preventive care
- Emergency room care
- Access to on-call emergency assistance from a doctor or nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- Behavioral health care and counseling
- Medical specialists
- Vision care - exams and glasses
- Dental care - including dentures
- Foot care - including podiatry care, diabetic shoes, and orthotics
- Audiology - hearing tests and hearing aids
- House calls
- Home aides to help you with things like bathing, grooming, and dressing
- Help doing laundry
- Light housekeeping assistance
- Help with chores such as grocery shopping
- In-home modifications – such as grab bars in bathtubs or wheelchair ramps
- Meals delivered to the home
- Personal emergency notification and response systems
- Transportation to doctors’ offices
- Home health nurse
- Hospital care
- Procedures like biopsies and colonoscopies
- Prescription drugs, including free home delivery
- Medication management assistance
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Recreation therapy
- Cognitive therapy
- Speech therapy
- Nutrition counseling
- Medical imaging - x-rays, MRIs, and CAT scans
- Laboratory services
- Medical equipment and supplies, such as walkers and wheelchairs; hospital beds; oxygen tanks; and diabetes testing supplies,
- Incontinence supplies
- Skilled nursing facility care
- Rehabilitation center care
- Nursing home care
- Free transportation
Is Senior LIFE the same thing as a nursing home?
Senior LIFE is NOT the same thing as nursing home. The goal of the Senior LIFE program is to keep seniors living independently in their own homes. So while our members receive services at the LIFE Health and Wellness Center during the day, they all still live at home and within the community. Our members live in their own homes, senior housing complexes, apartments, or with family.
Am I eligible for Senior LIFE?
To be eligible for Senior LIFE, you must be age 55 or older, live in one of our service areas, be able to live safely in the community, and be medically eligible. Contact the Senior LIFE location nearest you or call 1-877-998-LIFE (5433) to talk with an outreach coordinator who can help determine if you’re eligible. This assessment is free of cost.
Will Senior LIFE take my Social Security or SSI checks?
Absolutely not! Financial information is only obtained during the enrollment process to see if you qualify for the LIFE program. Senior LIFE members maintain complete control over their own finances. There are no cost for Senior LIFE services and no money is paid to Senior LIFE for those who are eligible for the program.
Can I keep my current doctor under Senior LIFE?
Like other health care plans, Senior LIFE has a network of doctors, specialist and health care services. Senior LIFE's healthcare network includes doctors, specialists, health services and hospitals located in the local community. The doctors you see must be one of our contracted or center-based physicians which could include one of your current specialists.
Senior LIFE primary care physician and nurse practitioners are trained and experienced in working with seniors and treating the unique medical issues that they face such as diabetes, hypertension and Alzheimer’s disease.
What role will my family play?
We encourage family members and other caregivers to play an active role. They can be involved in creating your individualized care plan, since they know you and your needs well.
What services will I receive after I enroll in Senior LIFE?
Upon enrolling in Senior LIFE, members meet with an interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, social workers, rehabilitation therapists, and others. This healthcare team will work with you and your family to determine a plan of care that is individualized to meet your specific needs. The services you receive will be based on this care plan that you will approve. If your medical or social needs change, the care plan changes to meet those needs.
I have to choose a new Medicaid Plan with Community HealthChoices. Is the LIFE program an alternative option for me?
If you are 55 years of age or older and meet the eligibility requirements for the LIFE Program, you can choose Senior LIFE as an alternative option to Community HealthChoices.
What is the difference between LIFE and Community HealthChoices?
If you are eligible, LIFE and Community HealthChoices are your two options for managing your long-term services and support needs. LIFE is a local, more comprehensive option to the new Community HealthChoices program, which will be administered by managed care organizations. LIFE manages both your Medicare and Medicaid services.
Contact the Senior LIFE location nearest you or call 1-877-998-LIFE (5433) to talk with an outreach coordinator who can help you transition seamlessly into the LIFE Program.
What happens if I am a member and I have an emergency at home?
If the situation is not life threatening, members call their on-call nurse. The on-call nurse is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. However, if the situation is more serious, call 911, or get to the emergency room. Our team will be involved to ensure care plans are followed during any hospital days.