PASSPORT client Mamie
"PASSPORT has given me the opportunity to stay in my home and I really appreciate it." Mamie, PASSPORT client 

PASSPORT is an Ohio Medicaid program that helps eligible older adults receive care and support in their homes, instead of a nursing home.  It is Ohio`s in-home alternative to nursing home care.  Without it, many disabled, low-income older adults would be forced prematurely into nursing homes.

Services and Benefits

By providing essential in-home services, PASSPORT can curb the skyrocketing costs of nursing home care in Ohio. 

Most older Ohioans prefer to live independently in their own homes, in their communities, surrounded by family and friends, for as long as they can. But, many need some help doing so. Before Medicaid waiver programs, older adults who needed any degree of long-term care typically entered nursing homes. Ohio's PASSPORT Medicaid waiver program helps Medicaid-eligible older Ohioans get the long-term services and supports they need to stay in their homes.

PASSPORT has become a popular choice for seniors and families who want to stay in their own home as they age. Enrollment has increased by more than 600 percent over the past 20 years, and today, more than 30,000 Ohioans receive care in their homes through PASSPORT. As a result, more Ohioans are receiving care in lower cost, independent settings.

The typical PASSPORT client is a woman in her late 70s, living alone, in poverty and needing help with basic activities such as bathing and meals.

Services include:

  • Personal care: a trained aide helps with bathing, dressing, grooming
  • Homemaker service: light cleaning, laundry, shopping
  • Home-delivered meals and nutritional counseling
  • Minor home modification: repairs and safety upgrades such as ramps, grab bars, dead-bolt locks
  • Adult day services: structured programs providing a secure and stimulating environment
  • Transportation: to medical and social service appointments
  • Chore service: pest control, major house cleaning, waste removal
  • Home medical equipment and supplies: health or safety related equipment such as a bath bench, cane or walker
  • Emergency response system: 24-hour protection and help with medications
  • Independent living assistance: help with benefit applications or organizing personal records; regular phone contact
  • Care management: a registered nurse or social worker coordinates your care and responds to your questions or concerns

Additionally, PASSPORT participants receive other Medicaid benefits that can help lower or eliminate out-of-pocket prescription and other health care costs.



PASSPORT may be for you if you are:

  • Age 60 or older
  • Eligible for Medicaid (low-income)
  • In need of skilled or intermediate care: hands-on help with dressing, bathing, toileting, grooming, eating or mobility

To enroll in PASSPORT you must first complete a phone screening to determine preliminary Medicaid eligibility and care needs. You will also receive information about the variety of long-term care options available to you and your family.

Once you are determined eligible, a care manager works with you, your family and your doctor to develop a package of in-home services.  Your care manager then monitors your care for quality and changes your care plan as necessary.

Council on Aging provides screening, information about long-term care options, care management and coordination of PASSPORT services.  


Most PASSPORT clients are eligible to receive services at no cost to them, but there are exceptions that depend upon an individual’s financial situation. More information about cost is provided during the assessment process.

Also, because PASSPORT is funded by Ohio’s Medicaid program, some costs for your PASSPORT care may be subject to Estate Recovery.

When a person receives Medicaid care in a nursing facility or through a Medicaid Waiver Program such as PASSPORT or the Assisted Living Waiver, the State of Ohio pays for that care. After the person receiving Medicaid benefits dies, the state will try to recover the cost of some or all of that care from the person’s
estate. This is called Medicaid Estate Recovery.

Estate Recovery is required by federal and state law and applies to Medicaid recipients age 55 and older, and those of any age who were permanently institutionalized (in a nursing facility).

Many people have questions and concerns about Estate Recovery.  Click here for a helpful fact sheet and a list of resources that may address many of your concerns.  

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PASSPORT vs. Elderly Services Program

Many people wonder how PASSPORT differs from the county Elderly Services Programs. To qualify for PASSPORT, clients must be low-income (Medicaid eligible) and severely disabled. Council on Aging works with area Departments of Job and Family Services to determine Medicaid eligibility.

In contrast, the Elderly Services Program is for seniors who do not qualify for Medicaid (not as low income). Also, PASSPORT clients are often more frail than clients on the Elderly Services Program and may need more help. PASSPORT clients must need a nursing home-level of care, as determined by a Council on Aging in-person assessment. 

Elderly Service Program clients are unable to live on their own without help, but may not necessarily need a nursing home level of care in order to receive services.  Eligibility requirements for the Elderly Services Program may vary by county. 

Other than differences in income and disability qualifications, PASSPORT and ESP offer many of the same in-home care services, including housekeeping, personal care, medical transportation and home-delivered meals.

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PASSPORT and MyCare Ohio

MyCare Ohio is a managed care program for Ohioans who receive BOTH Medicare and Medicaid benefits.  The program is administered by the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM). Click here for more information about MyCare Ohio.

Most older adults who receive PASSPORT services will be enrolled in MyCare Ohio. Your PASSPORT services will continue as a benefit of your MyCare Ohio health plan. 

When you enroll in a MyCare Ohio plan, you will continue to have your PASSPORT services coordinated by your Council on Aging care manager, unless you choose a different care management organization. 

Click here for information about how MyCare Ohio will affect your PASSPORT services.  If you have questions about MyCare Ohio, call Ohio's toll-free Medicaid hotline at (800) 324-8680.

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