FAQ

1. WHAT IS A MEDICAID WAIVER (NOW & COMP)?

A Medicaid Waiver is money that can pay for services for people with developmental disabilities. These services can take place in the person’s home or in the community. Both children and adults can be supported by Medicaid Waiver services.

Medicaid usually pays for doctor appointments, hospital expenses, medicine, therapy and some adaptive equipment. The Medicaid Waiver allows for Medicaid to be used to pay for additional services. The state writes a plan that tells what kind of services will be provided under their Medicaid Waiver program. The federal government has to approve the Medicaid Waiver plan. The Medicaid Waiver dollars are part state and part federal money.

The Office of Developmental Disabilities has written two new waivers. These new waivers are designed to give people more control over how their service dollars are spent. The NOW waiver will provide support to people who do not need 24 hour care. The COMP waiver will provide support to people who need 24 hour care. -(Understanding The Medicaid Waiver, published by The Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, Fall 2006)



 

2. QUICK FACTS ABOUT NOW/COMP WAIVERS

  • NOW- New Options Waiver

  • COMP- Comprehensive Waiver

  • The NOW/COMP Waivers provide a wide variety of home and community-based services to individuals with developmental disabilities, allowing them to stay out of institutional settings.

  • It is the largest waiver program in Georgia.

  • Available to all ages.

  • Largest waiting list for services (so the sooner you get started, the better)

 

 

3. WHAT SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE THROUGH THE NOW & COMP MEDICAID WAIVERS?

  • Behavioral Support Consultation

  • Community Access

  • Community Guide

  • Community Living Support

  • Community Residential Alternative

  • Environmental Accessibility Adaptation

  • Supported Employment

  • Financial Support Services

  • Respite

  • Specialized Medical Equipment/Supplie

 

4. HOW DO I APPLY FOR A MEDICAID (NOW or COMP) WAIVER?

The Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) oversees the NOW and COMP Waiver process. Click here to contact your Regional Office in order to apply for a Medicaid Waiver. Select the region in which you live for their contact information.

 

Steps to Apply for NOW or COMP Waiver

a. Contact Intake and Evaluation Team at the Regional Office for application.

b. Receive a letter of eligibility determination from the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) after going through their application process.

c. Individual will begin receiving services OR be placed on a waiting list.

 

What happens during the wait?

  • Short Term Waiting List- Support coordinators are assigned to individuals on the Short Term List to advocate for a waiver on the individuals’ behalf and connect the individual to available resources while waiting.

  • Long Term Waiting List- There is an annual review of the individual’s needs.


 

5. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE AN EMERGENCY AND NEED SUPPORT FOR MY LOVED ONE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS?

GCSS offers Emergency Respite services to families who find themselves in a crisis situation in which they cannot provide care to their loved one with a developmental disability. However, Emergency Respite can only be accessed through the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities’ Georgia Crisis and Access Line. Once you have contacted DBHDD, they will then contact us to set up services for your loved one. GCSS cannot begin Emergency Respite services for your loved one until you have gone through DBHDD.



Georgia Crisis and Access Line: 1-800-715-4225