The MI Choice Medicaid Waiver Program is designed to keep people who would otherwise need to transition into a long-term care facility in their home. The program provides in-home assistance to those qualified individuals at no cost to the individual.
To be eligible for the Waiver Program, an individual must be:
MI Choice applicants must demonstrate the need for a minimum of two covered services, one of which must be “supports coordination,” as determined through an in-person assessment. Applicants must also agree to accept to receive MI Choice services on a regular basis, at least every 30 days.
Waiver program applicants must demonstrate a need for at least two of the following services in order to qualify for the program. Services are decided on a case-by-case basis.
As of 2021, a single applicant can receive no more than $2,382 per month in income. This number is based on gross, not net income figures. It is also a number that is not adjusted at all for expenses or debt. However, if an applicant is married, only the applicant’s income is assessed for qualification purposes. This number is also adjusted each year in accordance with the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
The Medicaid Waiver Program has the same asset eligibility as long-term care Medicaid. A recipient of the benefit cannot have more than $2,000 in countable assets. All assets are counted unless they are exempt. For a list of assets that are exempt click here.
For a married applicant, the spouse not in need of services is entitled to keep half of the assets held by the couple. The assets that the non-applicant spouse can keep are subject to a maximum and minimum. For 2021 the maximum amount a non-applicant spouse can keep is $130,380 and the minimum amount is $26,076.
There are many options when it comes to gaining asset eligibility for the MI Choice Waiver program including Medicaid compliant annuities, asset protection trusts, and spending funds as part of a Medicaid spend-down plan. These options should be explored with an elder law attorney prior to any decisions being made and prior to any meeting with the Waiver provider.
The most important piece of information to understand is that this Medicaid program has a five-year ‘look back’ period. This means that any gifts or transfers for less than fair market value that were made in the five years prior to the application may result in a penalty period. To understand this further, please contact our offices for a free telephone consultation.
Below is a list of Waiver providers in your area. Each provider may have a different approach to the assessment process and may have a waitlist for services.
Detroit Area Agency on Aging
1333 Brewery Park Blvd., Suite 200
Detroit, Michigan 48207
(T) 313-446-4444 (F) 313-446-4446
Area Agency on Aging
1B 29100 Northwestern Highway, Suite 400
Southfield, Michigan 48034
Macomb-Oakland Regional Center Home Care, Inc.
16200 Nineteen Mile Road P.O. Box 380710
Clinton Township, Michigan 48038
The Senior Alliance
5454 Venoy Road
Wayne, Michigan 48184
The Information Center
20400 Superior Road
Taylor, Michigan 48180
Tri-County Office on Aging
5303 South Cedar Street
Lansing, Michigan 48911