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The Department of Health and Social Services announces the addition of two new programs that will serve people seeking Medicaid-funded long term services and supports.

As of October 1, 218, The Division of Senior and Disabilities Services has started the process to enroll people in the Community First Choice and the Individualized Supports Waiver.

The Community First Choice program offers personal care and other services to participants who meet an institutional level of care. Roughly 1.000 participants who currently receive both waiver services and personal care services through regular Medicaid have already transitioned over to the Community First Choice program. Community First Choice allows the state to shift an additional 6% from state general funds to the federal government.

The Individualized Supports Waiver is Alaska’s fifth waiver to be approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This waiver is unique, in that contains a cost limit for participants. The cost limit is adjusted in the payment system to account for geographic differences in rates and when increases in payment rates for services occur. Over 600 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have been waiting on the Developmental Disabilities Registry to receive waiver services have already been invited to apply for the Individualized Supports Waiver.

With the advent of the new programs, SDS has changed the process for accessing long term services and supports, to direct applicants to an Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) or a Short Term Assistance and Referral (STAR) center. As the “front door” for SDS, these agencies collect information from people seeking long term services and supports, and then make suggestions for and referrals to services, including but not limited to Medicaid-funded services.

For more information, visit these SDS resources: