Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver Programs
Proposed Waiver Amendments
In accordance with SB63 from the 2021 General Session, the State Medicaid Agency is completing amendments to several of its waiver programs to allow for spouses to be paid caregivers of waiver supports.
State Implementation Plan for each waiver can be viewed here:
- Community Supports Waiver: Word Doc
- Aging Waiver: Word Doc
- Acquired Brain Injury Waiver: Word Doc
- Physical Disabilities Waiver: Word Doc
- New Choices Waiver: Word Doc
- Community Transitions Waiver: Word Doc
An overview of the changes can be found in this Executive Summary. The following excerpt provides an overview of the waiver language added to each program:
Public Comments will be accepted through March 20th, 2021 for both programs in the following ways:
- Online through our Public Comment Page
- Via phone: 801-538-6155 option 5
- Via fax: 801-323-1593
- Via mail:
Utah Department of Health
Division of Medicaid and Health Financing
Attn: HCBS Waiver Public Comments
PO BOX 143112
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-3112
Utah Has Eight Medicaid 1915(c) HCBS Waivers:
- Acquired Brain Injury Waiver
- Aging Waiver (For Individuals Age 65 or Older)
- Community Supports Waiver for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities or Other Related Conditions
- Medicaid Autism Waiver
- Medically Complex Children’s Waiver
- New Choices Waiver
- Physical Disabilities Waiver
- Waiver for Technology Dependent Children
What is a Medicaid Waiver?
- In 1981, Congress passed legislation allowing states greater flexibility in providing services to people living in community settings.
- This legislation, Section 1915(c) of the Social Security Act, authorized the “waiver” of certain Medicaid statutory requirements.
- The waiving of these mandatory statutory requirements allowed for the development of joint federal and state funded programs called Medicaid 1915(c) Home and Community Based Services Waivers.
How does the 1915(c) HCBS Waiver work?
- The Utah Department of Health, Division of Health Care Financing (HCF – Medicaid) has a contract with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS – the federal Medicaid regulating agency) that allows the state to have a Medicaid 1915(c) HCBS Waiver.
- The State Implementation Plan defines exactly how each waiver program will be operated.
- All State Implementation Plans include assurances that promote the health and welfare of waiver recipients and insure financial accountability.
- The contract is called the State Implementation Plan and there is a separate plan for each waiver program.
What are the Characteristics of a Waiver?
- States may develop programs that provide home and community based services to a limited, targeted group of individuals (example: people with brain injuries, people with physical disabilities, or people over age 65) or in the community has to be the same or less than if they lived in a nursing facility.
- Services provided cannot duplicate services provided by Medicaid under the Medicaid State Plan.
- States must provide assurances to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that necessary safeguards are taken to protect the health and welfare of the recipients of a waiver program.
- Individuals may participate in a waiver only if they require the level of care provided in a hospital nursing facility (NF) or an intermediate care facility for people with intellectual disabilities (ICF/ID).
- States are required to maintain cost neutrality which means the cost of providing services to people at home.