Understanding PA Waiver Services

Support Services Waiver — or simply waiver — is a shortened term for the Medicaid Home and Community Based Waiver Program. This program provides funding for supports and services to help you to live in your home and community. Waivers offer an array of services and benefits such as choice of qualified providers, due process and health and safety assurances.

The name waiver comes from the fact that the federal government “waives” Medical Assistance/Medicaid rules for institutional care in order for Pennsylvania to use the same funds to provide supports and services for people closer to home in their own communities.

In Pennsylvania, the Department of Human Services administers 10 Medical Assistance/Medicaid waivers and the Living Independence for the Elderly Program. On May 22, 2008, the Governor announced the newest waiver, which addresses the needs of adults living with autism. Learn more about the Autism Waiver .

Each waiver has its own unique set of eligibility requirements and services.

Aging Waiver – Provides long-term care services to qualified older Pennsylvanians living in their homes and communities.
Attendant Care / Act 150 – Information for mentally-alert Pennsylvanians with physical disabilities.
COMMCARE Waiver – Home and community-based program developed for individuals who experience a medically determinable diagnosis of traumatic brain injury.
Consolidated Waiver for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities – Provides services to eligible persons with intellectual disabilities so that they can remain in the community.
Independence Waiver – Provides services to persons with physical disabilities to allow them to live in the community and remain as independent as possible.
Infant, Toddlers, and Families Waiver – Provides services to children from birth to age three in need of Early Intervention services who would otherwise require the level of care provided in an Intermediate Care Facility (ICF).
LIFE (Living Independence for the Elderly) – Managed care program for frail, elderly recipients who have been determined to need “nursing facility level of care” but wish to remain in their home and and community as long as possible.
OBRA Waiver – Provides services to persons with severe developmental physical disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy or similar conditions.
Person/Family Directed Support Waiver – Provides services to eligible persons with intellectual disabilities so that they can remain in the community.