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Medicaid Waivers: Tips & Comments From Parents
"In Michigan you want the Medicaid Waiver. Other states call it a Katie Beckett waiver."

My child has improved immensely since we got the waiver. I have someone here for when he gets off the bus until he goes to bed. Also for 8 hours on Sat. and Sun. I think the one-on-one helps. Also, [the company providing the workers] was willing to hire someone to do ABA for me if that person was willing to accept their wages and go through their training."

"We have had the Children's Medicaid Waiver for our son since 1996. It took quite a bit of work to initially get it due to the fact that only a limited number are available."

"I would urge parents that have their children receiving services via the C.M.W. to ask for the annual actual budget for their child's expenditures. When we did we found out that our child was getting less for direct services
than was being spent on administrative services. We also found out that
the money from our child's budget
was first being sent to our county and then was given to the county Community Mental Health agency to disperse. That was a reason for some of the delays we experienced, from equipment requests to contract approval."

"Our staff comes to us untrained and underpaid. We end up training them and the agency they are employed by still keeps at least a third of the fee, per hour. We've also had to find most of the staffing ourselves."

"To provide our son what he needs we've had to make sure that our case worker requests services from specific professionals that have knowledge of our son's disability. We then have to rely on the professionals to accept the Medicaid screen fees which are much lower then regular fees many of them would obtain from insurance providers. We have been lucky to get several providers to accept contracts with our CMH, but have also lost services after a while because the services are then offered to other families and the professionals can only accept so many clients under the Medicaid screen fee. We've done this with a variety of therapies and it has taken much work on our part."

"We requested a person centered plan to drive the services our son receives. This is supposed to be offered to each individual with a waiver to help ensure that needed services are obtained. However, it never was offered to us, we had to make a request for one. We were also never supplied with a full evaluation, another initial requirement of the CMW. We are now trying to obtain assistance in getting an evaluation paid for that we had done independently."

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