Mi Via: New Mexico’s Medicaid Cash and Counseling Program
Mi Via Program Description
Mi Via is a state Medicaid program for the elderly and disabled that provides a very wide range of services to enable individuals to self-direct their care and increase their ability to live independently. It is based on the Cash and Counseling demonstration project in which program participants determine their care requirements and select and manage their care providers instead of relying on the state to perform these activities on their behalf. This model of program is also referred to as consumer direction. It is becoming increasingly popular because it both decreases administrative costs for the state and increases the flexibility and control for the participant.
A second factor that contributes to the popularity of the Mi Via program is that under certain circumstances family members and friends can be hired to provide personal / attendant care services; spouses and adult children can be paid to be caregivers. The program works by making the participant an “employer” and uses a 3rd party, fiscal intermediary to manage payments to the “employees” or care providers.
Mi Via Eligibility Guidelines for 2013
To be eligible for the Mi Via program, New Mexico residents must be eligible for Medicaid and one of the HCBS waivers, most relevantly the CoLTS C Waiver. To read the full eligibility criteria for CoLTS C
, click here. A brief summary follows.
Applicants for Mi Via must be 65 or older, legal New Mexican residents, require nursing home level care and be financially qualified for New Mexico Institutional Medicaid. NM Medicaid has over 40 categories of recipients, complete details are available for download here
In short, single applicants must have monthly income less than $2,130 and countable resources less than $2,000. These limits are somewhat flexible and there are numerous exceptions and workarounds. Persons unsure if they are eligible financially should strongly consider finding assistance applying for Medicaid
in advance of filing the paperwork.
Benefits / Services Covered by the Mi Via Program
Many states have similar programs which strictly limit the services that can be self-directed to only personal care services. New Mexico has gone in the opposite direction and allows a very wide range of supports to be paid for by the Mi Via program. For example, most states disallow individuals that reside in assisted living communities from participating in the program, New Mexico does not. Instead they just limit some of the services for which individuals living in assisted living are eligible.
Programs / Services
-Personal care attendant to assist individuals with activities of daily living such as bathing, grooming and toileting
-Assistance with instrumental activities of daily living such as meal preparation, shopping for groceries and other essentials
-Companion services and transportation escorts
-Personal emergency response and 24 hr monitoring
-Home health aide
-Private duty nursing
-Alternative therapies including acupuncture and massage therapy
-Assistive technologies to increase independence
-Nutritional counseling services
How to Apply for the Mi Via Program
Page Reviewed / Updated - Feb. 2013