Senior Wellness: Living choices and financing them

Senior Wellness: Financing options

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - As we get older, there are a lot of decisions to be made about our care options. One of those is the decision whether to utilize a nursing home or not. With that choice comes a lot of questions. 

The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan tries to help answer some of those questions. 

MI Choice Medicaid Waiver is a long-term care program available to seniors age 65 and up and individuals who are between the ages of 18 to 64 and certified disabled. Participants must meet financial and medical eligibility in order to receive services. The goal of this program is to provide care and services to an individual who, without ongoing assistance, could reside in a nursing home setting.

The program helps to meet the needs of someone at home, in a loved one’s home, or some licensed assisted living settings so the individual has more choice in where (s)he resides and how care is received. Services that can be provided include personal care, homemaking, medication management, home delivered meals, and more. The type of services and frequency that they are provided are based on an individualized assessment. It is important to know that services are intended to be offered on a long-term basis as the individual will likely have an ongoing need for assistance.

Because of the structure of the program and the funding it receives, this program can be offered to individuals at no out of pocket costs to them, which is beneficial as the person can use their income to pay for other necessities (i.e. rent, utilities, groceries, and more). Since this program is funded by Medicaid, the participant would have to be eligible for Medicaid insurance. Medicaid in general can be confusing and AAAWM staff can assist participants through this process. Anyone who might be interested in this program is encouraged to call and further conversation will be held to determine if the individual may qualify for this program.

The AAAWM and Reliance Community Care Partners are two local agencies that provide the MI Choice Medicaid Waiver. You can learn more about the waiver by contacting them.

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Mackenzie Thaden is a producer at WZZM 13. Have a news tip? Email us at news@wzzm13.com or visit our Facebook page or Twitter.

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