This is the second in a series of articles talking about changes proposed under Wisconsin’s new proposed budget. Last month, we talked in general terms about some of the Medicaid or senior programs facing changes. In this article I want to talk specifically about Family Care.
As a little bit of background, Family Care is what is known as a “waiver program”. In other words, it uses money that is otherwise intended for the Medicaid program, which is historically used to pay for long term care such as nursing home costs. Wisconsin started this program years ago under then Governor Tommy Thompson. The intent was to use these monies to keep people out of nursing homes. The benefit to the individual is that most people prefer to stay out of nursing homes. The benefit to the government is that it’s frankly cheaper to keep people out of nursing homes. So this is a classic win-win program. The program has been wildly successful. It has been popular with clients.
Statistics show that with the use of Family Care, that Wisconsin’s long term care spending has been reduced significantly, and has served as a model for many other states around the country.
Also, the administrative costs of the program have been incredibly inexpensive. The administrative costs for Family Care has been historically below 5%. (For comparison, administrative costs for for-profit HMO’s are generally between 10 to 20%).
Family Care is a program that is available in most of the counties in the Chippewa Valley. It is not yet fully available in all counties in Wisconsin, but until recently, the plan had been to expand the program to all of the counties in the state.
The budget decisions are not yet finalized. If you have personal feelings either way, I would suggest that you contact your legislators to let them know how you feel about the programs, and the current proposals to reduce or eliminate them.
For further information on how these programs may affect you personally, you can arrange an appointment with Attorney Grosskopf.
Attorney Peter E. Grosskopf
1324 W. Clairemont Ave. Suite 10
Eau Claire, WI 54701