Position: The National Multiple Sclerosis Society believes it is important to expand quality long-term care options for individuals living with complex physical needs. We especially endorse cost-saving options that keep individuals at home or in the community as long as possible and functioning at their highest possible level.
- The addition of $18M for MI Choice, the Home and Community Based Medicaid Waiver program funding in FY14 as recommended in the Governor’s budget proposal.
- Funding the Medicaid Home Help program for very low income individuals who need home care and chore workers which will continue to save tax dollars over time.
People with MS may require long-term care at a much younger age than the general population.
- Approximately 3,500 individuals with MS in Michigan need long term care supports and services.
- Nursing homes often do not provide an environment where individuals can function at their highest level, especially not for younger individuals with MS.
MI Choice is cost effective and underfunded.
- The average cost for a MI Choice client was $52 per day in 2012 compared to nursing home care that averages $172 per day.1
- The Department of Community Health estimates that the state saves over $40 million annually because of individuals who transitioned out of nursing home with in home support provided by MI Choice.
- As of January 2012, there are approximately 6,500 individuals statewide waiting to receive service. They meet all MI Choice eligibility criteria but are not receiving care because of the shortage of MI Choice program funding.
- A University of Michigan study found Wayne County residents on the MI Choice wait list used more acute health care services than did clients in the program. 2
Medicaid provides health coverage non-elderly individuals with disabilities. It offers prescription drug coverage and standard medical benefits like physician and hospital care; home- and community-based services that allow people with MS to remain independent and avoid premature admission to costlier institutional facilities; and other forms of long-term services and support.
1 Mary Ablan, “Fact Sheet on MI Choice,” Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan, May 2012.
2 Marilyn Arndt, et. al., “Wayne County MI Choice Waiver Wait List Study: Final Report,” University of Michigan Institute of Gerontology with DYNS Services and Center of Information Management, unpublished study, March 2008.