Home > Blog > How To Get A MI Choice Medicaid Waiver To Pay For Your Medical Alert System

Eligible Michigan seniors can get a MI Choice Medicaid waiver to pay for their personal emergency response system from Medical Care Alert.

The Michigan Medicaid MI Choice Waiver Program began in 1992 as the Home and Community Based Services for the Elderly and Disabled (HCBS/ED) waiver program. We now know it as the MI Choice Waiver Program, or simply, "the waiver."

Through the MI Choice Medicaid waiver program, eligible adults in Michigan who meet income and asset criteria can receive Medicaid-covered services like those provided by nursing homes, but can stay in their own home or another residential setting. Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) are covered under the MI Choice waiver program.

What is the MI Choice Waiver Program?

MI Choice is a home and community-based care option for individuals 65 years of age or older and disabled adults aged 18 to 64 who are Medicaid Waiver eligible for their long-term care. It is a less costly and preferred alternative to nursing home care that allows people to get the support they need in their own homes. Must meet financial and medical eligibility.

The program offers in-home assistance choices for older adults and adults with disabilities. This program is funded through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. MI Choice Waiver is a home and community-based program for eligible adults to receive services and remain in a home or residential setting. Residential settings include an individual’s or family member’s home, unlicensed assisted living, licensed Homes for the Aged or licensed Adult Foster Care Home.
Personal Emergency Response Systems from Medical Care Alert are covered by MI Choice Waivers.

Eligible Services Under the MI Choice Medicaid Waiver Include:

  • Adult Day Services
  • Chore Services
  • Community Living Supports
  • Counseling
  • Environmental Modifications
  • Fiscal Intermediary
  • Goods and Services
  • Home Delivered Meals
  • In-home Respite Care
  • Out-of-home Respite Care
  • Medical Equipment and Supplies
  • Personal Emergency Response System
  • Non-Emergency Medical
  • Community Transportation
  • MI Choice Nursing Services
  • Private Duty Nursing
  • Supports Coordination
  • Training

How Does the Process Work?

  • Prescreening: Upon referral, a telephone intake screen is completed. A program referral may be made on your behalf, or you may take a self-referral. To obtain MI Choice Waiver program information call: (734) 722-2830.
  • Assessments: To determine eligibility, an assessment is completed by a Registered Nurse and Social Worker in the home. With eligibility, a person-centered plan is created to address individual needs.
  • Supports Coordination: A Supports Coordinator will arrange services and supports for MI Choice Waiver Participants.
  • In-Home Services: Service needs are identified through person-centered planning.
  • Re-assessment: Ongoing assessments are completed to ensure individual needs and program guidelines are met.

What are the Eligibility Requirements?

  • Financial: the individual income limit is $2,313* per month. Allowable asset limit for a participant is $2,000.00 (Amounts are subject to change each year based on federal poverty guidelines).
  • Assets exclude: Owner-occupied homes, primary vehicles, burial plots, and irrevocable funeral trusts. Please call (734) 722-2830 for more information.
  • Married applicants should call for information on Protected Spousal Assets.
  • Medical: The individual must meet Michigan Medicaid Nursing Facility level of care criteria.

Medical Care Alert Systems are available through The Senior Alliance, Area Agency on Aging 1-C. You can reach them at (734) 722-2830 or visit their website.

How is MI Choice different from the MI Health Link Waiver Program?

MI Health Link Michigan Medicaid Waiver ProgramMI Health Link offers a broad range of medical and behavioral health services, pharmacy, home and community-based services and nursing home care. MI Health Link provides a care coordinator at the Integrated Care Organization level to coordinate benefits of all offered services.

Personal Emergency Response Systems from Medical Care Alert are covered by MI Health Link Waivers.

Eligibility Criteria for MI Health Link includes:
  • Live in one of the four regions
  • Age 21 or over (Adults age 21 or over who are enrolled in the Children’s Special Health Care Services program are not eligible for MI Health Link)
  • Are eligible for full benefits under both Medicare and Medicaid • Are not enrolled in hospice
  • People in a nursing home are eligible and must continue to pay their patient pay amount to the nursing home
  • People with Medigap (Medicare supplemental insurance) can enroll in MI Health Link if they meet all criteria

You cannot be enrolled in both MI Choice and MI Health Link at the same time. Check with your Support Coordinator at the Area Agency on Aging that services your location for more details.

Medical Care Alert Systems are available through The Senior Alliance, Area Agency on Aging 1-C. You can reach them at (734) 722-2830 or visit their website. Be sure to specifically ask for a "PERS system from Medical Care Alert" when you call.