Senior and Disabilities Services adds two new programs
As of October 1, Senior and Disabilities Services added two new programs to support Alaskans who experience disabilities. One of the new programs is Community First Choice (CFC). CFC 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 to the program. The other new program is enrolling Alaskans with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the Individualized Supports Waiver. This is the fifth waiver to be approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The waiver is unique in Alaska, in that it includes an individual cost limit for participants. Setting a limit allows more of the individuals that were being served under Community Developmental Disabilities Grants (funded through general fund dollars) to move to the Individualized Supports Waiver which receives federal financial participation and reduces the amount of state funds expended but still provides valuable services to individuals. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) approved a total capacity of 620 participants for the Individualized Supports Waiver. Both programs wouldn’t have been made possible without the SDS staff putting in long hours for many months, even years, to get federal approval for the new programs.