In Wisconsin, Medicaid-eligible persons at a nursing home level of care are entitled to nursing home services. The Medicaid Home and Community-Based Waiver programs, which provide long-term care to people in their own homes or other non-institutional settings, has limited funding and is not an entitlement. For many people this has meant that the only viable option for needed long-term care services was to enter a nursing home.
Wisconsin began Family Care as a new way to provide health and long-term care services. Family Care builds on the principles of respect and consumer choice present in the Home and Community-Based Waiver programs, but makes those services an entitlement, just as nursing home services are an entitlement. This means that people who need long-term care services can choose where they live while receiving those services, and have timely access to both community-based and institutional services.