New Opportunities Waiver (NOW) Fact Sheet
Home and community-based waiver programs are based on federal criteria which allow services and supports to be provided in a home or community-based setting for people who would otherwise require institutional services.
Due to the demand for these services, there is a waiting list for the NOW of people who meet the Louisiana definition of developmental disabilities. The waiver is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. There are currently approximately 4660 people receiving NOW services and 14,768 people on the waiting list.
The application process does not begin until a slot is available. At that time, medical and financial determinations are done to validate that the individual has a developmental disability and meets the financial and medical/psychological requirements for institutional care in an ICF/DD (Intermediate Care Facility for People with Developmental Disabilities).
Services and supports provided through the NOW are those that allow an individual to live independently in their home and community or at home with their family. These include such things as assistance with bathing, transferring from wheelchair to bed, household chores, and transportation to work for individuals with physical disabilities and assistance with paying bills, taking medicine, and learning to use public transportation for individuals with cognitive disabilities. Respite is listed as the most needed service by families supporting children or adults in their homes. A complete list of services available through the NOW is below.
Funding for the NOW and all home and community-based waivers is a mix of Federal (70%) and State (30%) funds and is monitored and regulated by the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and administered in Louisiana by the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities and Medicaid.
- Individualized and Family Support (direct support/assistance, respite)
- Center-Based Respite
- Community Integration Development (facilitating natural supports & inclusion)
- Environmental Accessibility Modification
- Specialized Medical Equipment and Supplies
- Supported Living
- Day Habilitation and Transportation
- Supported Employment and Transportation
- Facility-Based Employment
- Professional Services (psychological, nursing, etc.)
- Personal Emergency Response System
- Skilled Nursing Service
- Substitute Family Care
- Transitional Expenses (out of an institution)
- * Host Home (services provided in a private home by the homeowner or renter)
- * Companion Care (services provided by a person who lives as a roommate with the person)
*services that will be added to the NOW shortly
This fact sheet was developed by the La. Developmental Disabilities Council. For more information on the New Opportunities Waiver, contact the Council at 800-450-8108.