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Medicaid Waivers

Helping older adults and people with disabilities to live independently in their communities and out of institutional care

Seniors and people with disabilities on Medicaid may be eligible for waivers that allow them to receive vital services in a home or community-based setting.

In the early 1980s a growing national trend moved away from institutional care for the elderly and persons with disabilities in favor of providing home and community-based services. In response, a new Medicaid program “waived” the federal requirement that services be provided in an institution. This allowed Medicaid recipients to receive non-traditional in-home and community-based services, so long as the cost was comparable.

Indiana began offering Medicaid Waivers in 1986 using federal and matching state dollars and today has two categories of waivers.

Medical Model Waivers are for children and adults with medical needs. They include:

  • Aged & Disabled Waiver (A&D)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver (TBI).

Developmental Disabilities Waivers are for children and adults with intellectual or other developmental disabilities. They include:

  • Community Integration and Habilitation Waiver (CIH), formerly Developmental Disabilities Waiver and Autism Waiver
  • Family Supports Waiver (FSW), formerly Support Services Waiver.

Waivers are used to pay for services from qualified providers of attendant or nursing care services, home modifications (ramps), lifts for vehicles, residential and employment supports, etc., and are intended to help people with disabilities continue to live in their homes and communities instead of being moved to institutional care.

Every state has a maximum number of slots for Medicaid Waivers it can grant in a given year, filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Clients must meet eligibility requirements each year to continue receiving Medicaid and Waiver services.

Around the same time that Indiana began offering Medicaid Waivers, it also developed the CHOICE program. CHOICE — Community and Home Options for Institutional Care for the Elderly and Disabled — is a state-funded program under the Division of Aging that provides support to both seniors and people of any age with a disability to help them live at home or in community-integrated settings.

Medicaid Waivers in Central Indiana

CICOA is the single point of entry for people seeking Medicaid Medical Model Waivers or CHOICE funds in Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Johnson, Marion, Morgan and Shelby counties. Access to Medicaid Waivers depends on the type of waiver sought and the individual’s eligibility for services.

Medical Model Waivers

Medical Model Waivers are administered by the Area Agencies on Aging (like CICOA), which means that access to waiver services are initiated through CICOA’s case management program. Specifically, CICOA manages the A&D and TBI waivers and CHOICE programs.

To be eligible for Medical Model Waivers, the individual must meet Medicaid requirements and be at risk of institutionalized care. A CICOA options counselor will visit the potential client and determine whether the individual is eligible to receive services based on income, level of impairment and the availability of funds. For children with disabilities under the age of 18, parental income and resources are NOT counted when determining financial eligibility.

Once the Medicaid Waiver intake process is complete, ongoing case management can be provided through CICOA or handed off to an independent case manager, if the client so chooses.

Developmental Disability Waivers

Developmental Disability Waivers are initiated through the local Bureau of Developmental Disability Services (BDDS). Specifically, BDDS manages the CIH and FSW waivers. Visit the Indiana BDDS website to learn more or find your local office.

Get Started

Call the Aging & Disability Resource Center:

(317) 803-6131 or (800) 432-2422

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