What’s What in Medicaid Planning: Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers

By Amanda Mattox

The HCBS Program Waiver is a term used in conjunction with the following (only to name a few):

  • Statewide Medicaid Managed Care- Long Term Care (SMMC-LTC) Waiver
  • Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) Waiver
  • Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Waiver
  • Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Waiver
  •  iBudget Waiver

Ok, but WHAT is It?! The HCBS Program Waiver refers to the category under which a waiver through Florida Medicaid may fall under. These types of waivers allow individuals to live in the community in an effort to avoid institionalization (better said as being placed in a nursing facility). The HCBS Program has additional income and asset criteria, which is evaluated during the eligibility determination process.

What you need to be prepared for with HCBS Program Waivers- all HCBS waivers are now categorized under the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care, Long Term Care (SMMC-LTC) Waiver. Funding is LIMITED and is needs based.  Specifically- there may be a waiting list which you may or may not be on for an undefined amount of time.  However, a knowledgeable Medicaid strategy is based on being informed on what local benefits are available to a Medicaid applicant, in addition to the facts of their particular situation (income, assets, ect). As always, consult with an educated Florida Bar licensed attorney who specializes in Elder Law and understands Medicaid Planning in Florida.

*The above information is intended for informative purposes only and is not legal advice. For advice on your specific situation, please contact an experienced elder law attorney in your area.

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