What is MI Choice Waiver?
MI Choice is a Michigan Medicaid Waiver program, formerly referred to as the Home and Community Based Services for the Elderly and Disabled (HCBS/ED) program. MI Choice is a statewide program designed to give older adults and people with disabilities more choices in receiving long-term supports. It provides a variety of services in a person’s home that are similar to those provided in a nursing home. MI Choice is also known as the Medicaid Waiver for the Elderly and Disabled.
Medicaid Waiver programs like MI Choice help provide services to people who would otherwise be in an institution, nursing home, or hospital to receive long-term care in the community. The approval of Federal Medicaid Waiver programs allowed states to provide services to consumers in their homes and in their communities.

Which services are included?
Services include personal care, homemaking, respite in the home, respite outside the home, respite in the home of another, adult day care, home-delivered meals, non-medical transportation, private duty nursing, personal emergency response systems, chore service, counseling, specialized medical equipment and supplies, training, nursing home transition services, fiscal intermediary, community living supports and environmental accessibility adaptations. Under the MI Choice waiver, seniors can also receive assistance for home modifications to enable aging in place.
MI Choice Waiver provides clients with more control in directing how their services are delivered.

How does the program work?
A registered nurse and a social worker visit the person in his/her home to determine what the client wants, and what family members and friends can do to help. The nurse or social worker provides a list of qualified agencies from which the client can choose, and contacts agencies if the client desires. After services are started, the nurse or social worker stays in touch with the client on a regular basis to make adjustments, as desired. MI Choice uses an approach that is person-centered, meaning clients are in control and make the decisions about their care.

What is the role of Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs)?
AAAs administer the MI Choice program, meaning they provide the nurses and social workers that visit clients and help them get assistance—this service is known as ―care management. AAAs are well suited to manage clients’ care because they don’t provide in-home services and have no financial self-interest in referring clients to particular services or service providers. AAAs are also responsible for data collection, financial management, and implementing cost controls. Fourteen AAAs administer MI Choice; seven other agencies across the state also perform this role.

CareWell Services Southwest, the Region 3B Area Agency on Aging provides MI Choice Waiver support to people in Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties. Do you, or someone you know need help with any of the supports listed above? Want to find out if you qualify? Call CareWell Services today! A certified counselor is ready to discuss your personalized options. Call 1-800-626-6719.

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