MA-Waiver Programs
updated December 6, 2018

MA-Waiver programs offer services to help people with disabilities and seniors live in the community, instead of in a facility, such as a nursing home or Intermediate Care Facility for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (ICF/DDs).

Tip: If you live in a facility now, you may be able to move out and start to get the services you need through an MA-Waiver program.

Services MA-Waiver Programs May Provide

MA-Waiver programs help people who need long-term care services to live in the community. Common MA-Waiver services include:

MA-Waiver programs and caregiver living expenses

If you have or want a caregiver who can live with you, MA-Waiver programs may help pay for your combined living expenses, if you have a BI, CAC, CADI, or DD Waiver (see below).

If this sounds interesting, talk about it with your MA-Waiver case manager. If your case manager says this might work for you, Rumi is a free service that can help match you with a live-in caregiver.

For more details, see HB101’s article about how MA-Waiver programs can help pay for caregiver living expenses.

Who They Help

To qualify for MA-Waiver programs, you must:

Additionally, the MA-Waiver services must not be paid for by any other program, such as private health coverage, Medicare, MA, or Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS).

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has more detailed information about MA-Waiver programs.

How You Apply

To see if MA-Waiver programs might help you, contact your local county human services agency and request a MnCHOICES assessment.

If you think you might need long-term services, you can request a MnCHOICES assessment, even if you don’t currently get MA or any other benefit, and even if you have money to live on. Within 20 days, the county must send a MnCHOICES assessor to help review your situation and see which long-term care programs or services might help you.

During this review, the assessor looks at what programs and services might help you live in the community, including MA-Waiver programs, Medical Assistance (MA), and personal care assistance (PCA) services:

  • If you might qualify for public benefits, the county will help you fill out the application forms. The application process for MA-Waiver programs depends on if you currently have MA coverage. The MnCHOICES assessor will explain how to apply and help you get started.
  • Even if you don’t qualify for public benefits, the assessment can help you learn about services, accommodations, and resources.

Note: If you qualify for an MA-Waiver program, some counties have a waiting list before you can get services. How long you have to wait depends on the MA-Waiver program, the county, and if you are in a priority group (like if you live in an institution).

Get Help

To learn more about MA-Waiver programs: