Rockaway, New Jersey
- more about medicaid
- state data
Tina Witowsky, age 20, suffered a brain trauma, similar to a massive stroke, four years ago. Following months of critical care, multiple surgeries, and intensive rehabilitation, Tina was able to come home, but she needs extensive in-home services and supports, which her private health insurance stopped covering. Without Medicaid, Tina’s mother would have had to move Tina into a nursing home, or leave her job to care for Tina full-time, sell her house, and find a job working nights. Instead, because Medicaid covers the care Tina needs, she can remain at home and in her community and school, and her mother can continue to work. Through a special Medicaid option in New Jersey, Tina and her mother “self-direct” Tina’s care, screening and hiring Tina’s caregivers themselves, within a fixed budget.
Tina is able to live at home rather than in a nursing home because Medicaid also covers services and supports that individuals with long-term needs require to live independently in the community. Tina utilizes Medicaid’s “self-directed care” option, also called consumer direction, which gives her a fixed budget and allows her a large degree of control over hiring, scheduling, training, and paying for her personal care. In 2009, 37 states included consumer direction in their home and community-based services programs.
"Without Medicaid services, Tina would not have the opportunity to live at home, choose her life, become and remain independent." – Tina's mother, Mercedes