New Jersey Looks to Expand Medicaid Waiver Program

NJSpotlight.com is reporting that the state of New Jersey is seeking permission from the federal government to expand its Medicaid waiver program for another five years. The program, which began four years ago and is expected to operate until June 2017, is currently being provided to Medicaid patients who are receiving long-term care and other services.

In addition, the state’s Department of Health is looking to make more changes to the program which, it says, will result in lower expenses, greater flexibility and an improvement in patient outcomes. Among those changes include expanding coverage to individuals suffering from mental health or substance abuse issues, improving the coordination of care for those who are covered by more than one subsidized insurance program, assisting in the healthcare transition for those who have been released from prison and finding housing for those who are at risk of homelessness.

New Jersey has relied on managed care insurance companies to oversee the coordination of care for a majority of its Medicaid patients. The waiver program allowed the state to extend coverage to long-term care patients. Medicaid has also gone to managed care, in which a payment covers all the patient’s needs, rather than when the providers were paid by Medicaid for each treatment service.

Officials from the NJDOH said this program gives patients greater flexibility in their treatment options and their living arrangements and streamlines the administrative process. As of last year, according to the article, there are more than 23,000 people in the waiver program; that includes senior citizens, the developmentally disabled and those in need of continuing care.

The NJDOH will submit its proposal to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees the program, later this year.

Medicaid can help you pay for medical expenses, as well as long-term nursing care. The experienced Medicaid attorneys at The Law Offices of Hunziker, Jones & Sweeney can answer your questions about planning for Medicaid and assist you along the way. Call (973) 256-0456 for a consultation.

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