Assisted Living Waiver
Prior to 2006, recipients of Medi-Cal that required assistance with at least three (3) activities of daily living (assistance with eating, bathing, dressing, undressing, medication management, or other needs) were required to live in a Skilled Nursing Facility under the Medi-Cal long-term care provision. Even with specially negotiated rates for these clients, nursing home care is very expensive. In 2006, a three-year study was initiated in three counties of California (Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Joaquin). The Assisted Living Waiver Pilot Project (ALWPP) allowed these same individuals to live in specially selected Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly. The cost savings were such that at least two individuals could be served in the ALWPP vs. skilled nursing care. The program was deemed successful and in March 2009, the Assisted Living Waiver (ALW) was approved for a total of 1000 beds.
Currently, due to the economic situation, the program is only available within the same three counties used during the trial. Although the program is full, they are still enrolling new individuals and will place them as beds become available. There is a proposal to add counties in the upcoming years. In 2010, Sonoma, Fresno, San Bernardino and Riverside counties are slated to be added. In 2011, Contra Costa and Alameda counties could be added. In 2012, they are looking to add San Diego and Kern counties. In 2013, Placer and Shasta may be added. These additions are still in the proposal phase and could be changed at any given time.
This information is current as of July 2009. We will continue to monitor the status of the ALW and will update this information when it is applicable.