Public Policy |

Waiver Reimagine Phase II

What is Waiver Reimagine?

Waiver Reimagine is ongoing work at the Department of Human Services (DHS) to make system-level changes to Minnesota’s four disability waivers. One of the main goals is to make Minnesota’s waiver system easier for people who have disabilities and their families to understand. This is a two-part project – called Phase I and Phase II. Phase I passed the legislature in 2019 and was completed this year. Phase II was passed during the special session in June 2021.


What is part of Phase II?

  • Reshaping the 4 disability waiver programs in a two-waiver structure
    • Individual supports waiver, for people who live in homes of their own, or with family
    • Residential supports, for people who live in group homes and other provider-controlled places
  • Individualized budgets so people can see how much money they have to purchase different services
  • Increased access to self-directed options
  • Online support planning tool. This will help people track their budget, services they can get, and services they have used before

 

What passed during special session?

Phase II will go “live” on July 1, 2024 or after the federal government approves the plan (whichever occurs later), but there’s a catch! Before DHS can seek federal approval, they must:

  • Bring together a Waiver Reimagine Advisory Committee. This Committee will help put together recommendations and give feedback on Phase II
    • Here are some things the Committee can focus on:
      • How the four waivers will be merged into two
      • The individual budget methodology. This is the process they will use for putting together someone’s budget
      • Criteria and process for individualized budget exemptions. Exemptions will help decide which services and supports can be paid for through the self-directed budget, and which will be paid for outside their budget
    • The Committee must include people who are racially, ethnically, and geographically diverse from each of the following groups:
      • People who have disabilities who access waiver services
      • Family members of people who access waiver services
      • Disability and behavioral health advocates
      • Lead agency representatives. This means counties and tribes
    • Waiver service providers
  • Submit a report to the legislature on any plans to change the new service menu, exemptions, and more

These are major changes to the waiver system, but it is important to know that nothing has been set or finalized and stakeholder engagement must happen before any federal approval. DHS will share more information about the advisory committee, including how to apply, later this fall

 

Questions?

Visit the Waiver Reimagine FAQs page or call The Arc Minnesota’s toll free number: 1-833-450-1494.

 

Written by Julia BurkstallerThe Arc Minnesota Public Policy Director