Illinois’ My Choices Demonstration Project is not a distinct program but instead a way for beneficiaries to exercise greater control of the services they receive under the Illinois Community Care Program (CCP) Waiver. Via this project, eligible seniors receive a variety of benefits, such as personal care assistance and homemaker services, home modifications, and adult day care, to enable them to continue living independently in their homes, rather than require institutionalization in nursing home facilities.
My Choices is a consumer directed project, also referred to as self-direction, and the cash and counseling model. This allows eligible seniors to select the services that most benefit them and choose who provides these services. Participants have the responsibility of hiring, training, and even firing their employees. Family members, such as the adult children who are caring for aging parents, may be hired as personal care assistants. Any prospective caregiver must be qualified, enrolled as a provider for My Choices and willing to accept the Medicaid approved hourly rate for the work. Unfortunately, spouses are not eligible to be hired to provide care.
This program is administered by the Illinois Department on Aging.
To be eligible for this program, applicants must be residents of Illinois, at least 60 years old and are active recipients of the CCP Waiver. Complete eligibility requirements for the Waiver are available here. In brief, the program requires participants to have countable assets valued at less than $17,500 and annual income within 200% of the federal poverty level (less than approximately $24,120/ year). Eligibility also involves a home assessment to determine need for My Choices.
The program is open to all state residents, but is not available in all Illinois counties. To participate, some state residents must be willing to relocate. At present, the following counties participate:
Bond, Clinton, Macon, Madison, Marshall, Monroe, the city of Peoria, Randolph, Stark, St. Clair, Tazewell, Washington, and Woodford.
Based on a monthly budget set forth by a needs assessment, seniors may choose which of the following services best benefit them.
Program participants are responsible for finding, hiring and managing the persons or agencies who provided these services. Time tracking is managed by participants and their “employees” and payroll is managed by the state program.
State residents who are already enrolled in Medicaid and are receiving services under the CCP Waiver should contact their care coordinator through CCP to apply.
Those on Medicaid, but not the CCP Waiver must first apply for this Medicaid waiver. You can do so by calling the Illinois Department on Aging helpline at 800-252-8966 or by contacting your local Area Agency on Aging. Persons who are not enrolled in Illinois Medicaid must apply first. Dial the statewide Senior Helpline 800-252-8966 or email them to find out how.