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How the MI Choice Waiver Program Helps Seniors Age at Home

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By Paulette Porter






What is MI Choice Waiver?


The MI Choice Waiver program provides services and supports to people in their homes. Your


home could be a house, apartment, condominium, adult foster care, or a home for the aged. MI


Choice services are not available to people who live in a nursing home.




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. MI Choice Waiver is a statewide program funded by the MI Department of


Health & Human Services.




Which services are included?


Services received through MI Choice Waiver could include Adult Day Health, Chore Services,


Community Living Supports, Community Transportation (medical or non-medical), Counseling,


Home Modifications, Fiscal Intermediary, Goods and Services, Home Delivered Meals, Personal


Emergency Response System (PERS), Nursing Services, Private Duty Nursing/Respiratory Care,


Respite, Specialized Medical Equipment and Supplies, Supports Coordination, Training.




Who is eligible for the program?


MI Choice Waiver serves adults aged 18 or older who need services like those provided in a


nursing home. If you are younger than 65, you must have a disability. You also must qualify for


Medicaid. An individual’s gross income must be at or below $2742 per month or $32,904 for the year 2023.




How does MI Choice Waiver work?


Step 1: Telephone intake. An assessment of care needs, finances, and current abilities.






Step 2: Face-to-Face Assessment. A nurse and social worker team will come to your home to


review abilities, medications, food needs, and other health and care needs. This assessment leads


to a person-centered plan of care that includes your needs, preferences, and goals.




Step 3: Service Planning & Management. You and the supports coordination team plan and


manage needed services based on your preferences and the person-centered care plan.


Participants can hire qualified friends or family members to provide approved services.




Step 4: Ongoing Care Management. The supports coordination team makes regular contact to


review the care plan and reassess your needs. As care needs change, the care plan is updated.






What if my care needs to change once I'm enrolled?


A supports coordination team is assigned to each participant in MI Choice Waiver. This team


will meet with or call you to review your needs regularly. The care plan will be adjusted with


any changes noted. Contact the supports coordination team directly with any changes to daily


needs or with any questions or concerns about your 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






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 Southwest today. A certified counselor is ready to


discuss your personalized options. Call (269) 966-2450 or (800) 626-6719 for more information.

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