The Department of Community Health Introduces the Elderly and Disabled Waiver Program

by Diane Weinberg

July 2018 saw another significant change in the Medicaid waiver programs. Medicaid introduced the Elderly and Disabled Waiver Program, which will replace both the Community Care Services Program (CCSP) and the Services Options Using Resources in a Community Environment (SOURCE). CCSP and SOURCE were Medicaid waiver programs that helped individuals at risk for going into a nursing home live at home or in the community while receiving the services that they need.

While both CCSP and SOURCE provided personal support services including light homemaking services, adult day health, meal delivery, an emergency response system, and out-of-home respite care, they served different communities. SOURCE assisted individuals who already received Medicaid services, such as SSI Medicaid and CCSP helped everyone else.

There were a few other notable differences to the programs. Individuals receiving SOURCE benefits, for example, were not required to make any co-payments for their services. By contrast, CCSP beneficiaries might have a monthly co-payment. Additionally, an SSI recipient who applied for SOURCE would receive SOURCE benefits upon approval; a CCSP applicant may be approved for benefits but may be waitlisted for benefits until funds to pay for those benefits became available.

Effective July 1, 2018, both CCSP and SOURCE became part of the Elderly and Disabled Waiver Program (EDWP).  Combining these programs and their resources makes a lot of sense since the programs already followed the same guidelines and essentially provided the same services.

It is still not clear whether EDWP distinguishes between applicants who are already Medicaid beneficiaries and those who are not.  Two weeks ago, an intake processor at the Area Agency on Aging told me that EDWP had a 200-person waitlist.  At the time, she did not distinguish between individuals on the waitlist between those who already received a Medicaid benefit (former SOURCE beneficiaries) from those who do not (former CCSP beneficiaries).  EDWP does have a triage process in place that allows individuals with an urgent need for resources to be placed toward the top of any waitlist.   Those requiring fewer services or having significant community support may be positioned toward the bottom of the waitlist.

At this time, the Department of Community Health has not published a new manual governing EDWP; so several questions about the program remain unanswered. We will continue to keep you informed as we learn more about how this new program operates.

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