Understanding Medicaid Waivers

June 4, 2013 at 4:11 pm Leave a comment

The title of this article should really have the words “Trying to…” in front of it. There is no question that Medicaid Waivers can be extremely confusing. Hopefully this article will help you feel more comfortable with Medicaid Waivers and even encourage you to ask questions about them.

To start out with, there is a website about Medicaid Waivers in Virginia at www.vamedicaidwaivers.org. You can get resources from that site, and one of the best resources is the Virginia Medicaid Waivers discussion group. You can find a link to it on that website. The discussion group is composed of parents, advocates and professionals who share information and their experiences involving Medicaid Waivers. As a subscriber to that discussion group, I have never seen a legitimate question go unanswered. It is a wealth of information.

Medicaid Waivers provide assistance to people with disabilities who meet the criteria for institutionalization and Virginia is waiving the requirement that one be institutionalized in order to receive Medicaid services and instead, will receive those same services and supports (often at a lower overall cost) in the community.

There are six Waivers available in Virginia: the Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Assisted Living Waiver (Alzheimer’s Waiver), the Day Support Waiver for Individuals with Intellectual Disability (Day Support Waiver), the Elderly or Disabled with Consumer-Direction Waiver (EDCD Waiver), the Individual and Family Development Disabilities Supports Waiver (DD Waiver), the Intellectual Disability Waiver (ID Waiver), and the Technology Assisted Waiver (Tech Waiver). Different Waivers have different requirements (financial and otherwise) and a handy booklet entitled Medicaid Waiver Services Guide has been put together by the Endependence Center in Norfolk, VA and the VA Board for People with Disabilities and is available in the Special Programs section of www.ecnv.org.

Some of the services offered by ECNV revolve around the EDCD Waiver. The EDCD Waiver provides services that help individuals live in their own home/community rather than in a nursing home. It is available to people at least 65 years old or people of any age who have a disability. Individuals may require assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as bathing, toileting, dressing, et al., and/or Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) such as meal preparation, light housekeeping, shopping, etc.  These needs can be met through Agency- and Consumer-Directed Attendant Care under the Waiver. With the EDCD Waiver, a recipient is also eligible for: Adult Day Health Care,  Personal Emergency Response System (PERS), and Agency- and Consumer-Directed Respite Care. Please note, however, that ECNV is only certified to provide service facilitation for those interested in Consumer-Directed services.

Staff at ECNV who are trained to help with Medicaid Waiver issues are Layo Oyewole (703-673-4490, layoo@ecnv.org), Hannah Manila (703-673-4495 hannahm@ecnv.org), and Kathy Adams (703-673-4492, kathya@ecnv.org). You can also call the main ECNV number (V: 703-525-3268, or TTY: 703-525-3553).

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Entry filed under: Health, Newsletter - The ECNV Declaration. Tags: , .

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