Special Needs Assisted Living Voucher Demonstration Program for Persons with Dementia

Program Alert: As a result of wide-spread support and expanded demand for participation, the Department of Health (Department) is pausing approval of new applications effective 7/28/23. Current voucher recipients will be able to continue in the program. Additionally, waitlisted applicants will be moved from the waitlist and added to the program as vouchers become available, so far as the addition fits under budgetary restrictions, and in the order that they were waitlisted. The Department will continue to evaluate the program and provide updates as appropriate.

Adults with Alzheimer´s disease and related dementia (ADRD) who can no longer afford to pay privately for a Special Needs Assisted Living Residence (SNALR), generally, have no other option than to enroll in the Medicaid Program. This enrollment often results in a transition from a private pay residence in an assisted living facility to a skilled nursing facility. To prevent such transitions and keep residents in the least restrictive setting possible, the State of New York enacted the Special Needs Assisted Living Voucher Residence Program for Persons with Dementia.

The 2018-19 State Budget Agreement authorized the Department of Health to establish this voucher program to subsidize the cost of a SNALR for individuals with Alzheimer´s disease and/or dementia. Through the program, the Department may issue up to 200 vouchers that subsidize up to 75% of the regional average private pay rate for the monthly cost of a SNALR for an approved applicant living with a diagnosis of Alzheimer´s disease and/or dementia.

Waitlist Information

Since June 23, 2021, the SNALR Voucher Program has instituted a waitlist for new applicants to the program. Applications will be reviewed for eligibility upon receipt using existing program protocols unless the application process is paused due to wait listed applications. Only eligible applicants will be waitlisted. Eligible applicants will be notified that they are being placed on a waitlist by email. Applicants not eligible for the program will be notified by email that they do not meet the criteria for the program.

Waitlisted applicants will be removed from the waitlist and added to the program on a first come first serve basis as vouchers become available, program budget permitting.

Prior to enrolling a waitlisted applicant, the Department will confirm the applicant´s information is accurate and will provide information on the start date of voucher payments and the amount of the payment.

Facility Programmatic Requirements

Facilities must regularly review and annually resubmit the program's attestation form. Facilities must also provide notification to the Department as soon as possible, if and when a voucher recipient exceeds the retention standards for the SNALR or leaves the facility for any reason.

Those SNALR facilities enrolled in the program and in receipt of SNALR Voucher payments, must submit a monthly roster through a Health Commerce System (HCS) HERDS survey for each SNALR Voucher recipient, including updates to facility representative contact information, on the first Monday of each month.

Due to the population that the Voucher Program serves, there are many reasons that may affect a voucher recipient's status in the program. A resident may expire while enrolled in the program, be discharged from the facility due to a need for a higher level of care, or be absent from the facility for rehabilitation, hospitalization, or home visits. In these instances, or any circumstances in which the resident will be absent or no longer occupy their licensed bed, the facilities are required to notify the Department as soon as possible as to the resident's name, reason for discharge (or absence) from the facility, and date of discharge (and anticipated return, if known). The Department will determine whether a refund should be provided for funds paid in advance. Failure to notify the Department may result in limited participation.

Facility Enrollment

Facilities interested in enrolling may contact the Department at: ALTCteam@health.ny.gov.

Program Information:

Contact ALTCteam@health.ny.gov for more information or with any questions.