Medicaid Changes: 11-15 Waiver

By: Tara Hettinger
By: Tara Hettinger

The Self Determination Act, or the 11-15 waiver, will allow Medicaid recipients choices to decide where they want their money to go.

The Medicaid program is run differently in each state, and this is not a new idea. However, Kentucky is the first to take it across the board. They are using it not only just for the disabled, but also for the elderly and the children who benefit from Medicaid.

"We choose everything in life... We choose our friends... What we do... Everything. Society has lost focus. Individuals with disabilities and aging have the same rights as other citizens. The state hasn't allowed that until Self Determination," says Glenna Taylor, who helped bring this concept to Kentucky.

But Kentucky is doing a trial run first by conducting a pilot program of a hundred people.

Those individuals will get to decide who to hire and fire concerning their care. So if they do not want nursing home care, they can just use that money to pay a stranger, friend, or even a family member to care for them in their own home.

And Taylor says it's track record speaks for itself. It has succeeded in many other states, such as Arkansas, where Taylor says they saved over 65 percent due to better overall health. She says its from leading happier lives.

And if it works, Taylor says the goal will be to enroll more and more people to program.

The final goal is for everyone to self determine what is done with their money, their health, and ultimately their lives.

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