WISCONSIN - The Family Care Medicaid program provides long term care to frail elders and adults with disabilities in Wisconsin.The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced this week the program will be funded through 2024.
"It provides long term care services that would otherwise only be available in a nursing home," said assistant director of the Rhinelander Aging and Disability Resource Center Joel Gottsacker.
Gottsacker says Family Care is unique because it allows people to get the help they need in the comfort of their own home.
"They get to stay in their preferred setting, it's a lot less expensive for the state to have people served in those places, and people are just happier being there," said Gottsacker.
More than 50,000 people are enrolled in Family Care in the state. Chief Innovation Officer of local care organization Inclusa Tim Garrity says the program allows every client to be cared for as they see fit.
"To me the best advantage of the family care model is its ability to individualize support and care plans for each individual member," said Garrity.
That means those enrolled in Family Care can choose who provides service to them, whether it be a nurse, a family member, or a neighbor.
"They may not want a stranger coming into their home, they would prefer a family member who can provide the care to them," said Gottsacker.
Gottsacker adds that most people pay far less through Family Care than they would at a nursing home.
"A nursing home costs between $7,500 to $8,000 a month, and being cared for at home is much closer to $1,500 to $3,000," said Gottsacker.
Garrity says he's happy to see the program funded for the next five years. He says it goes to show how successful the program has been since it began in 1999.
"The fact that the federal government approved the five-year extension of the family care waiver really points to the fact that a model has been very effective as well as cost effective for Wisconsin," said Garrity.