“How much of human life is lost in waiting.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
In order to enroll in Medicaid waiver programs in Colorado, adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) must meet certain criteria in determining their eligibility. This criterion, determined by the Colorado Division of Disability, is also used to determine the level of support needed by the individual in order for him or her to lead an active, quality life in our Colorado communities.
Medicaid waiver programs enrollment for individuals with I/DD in Colorado are in great demand. Advocates at AdvocacyDenver oftentimes support clients with enrolling in these programs. Once applied and approved as eligible, clients can anticipate varying wait periods for actual enrollment.. If an individual with I/DD does not apply for enrollment at age 14 –and this can be the case for a plethora of reasons- he or she will end up experiencing a waiting period where access to Medicaid services and supports is limited.
During this waiting period, individuals with I/DD oftentimes refer to natural supports such as friends or family to help them participate within their communities. Community organizations can play a role in helping individuals waiting for Medicaid enrollment too. AdvocacyDenver has a long track record of supporting such individuals with I/DD in locating safe and affordable housing, access to health care, and accommodations in employment. Mission Supports, a new non-profit organization in Denver, is also working to specifically alleviate the barriers experienced by those waiting for Medicaid program enrollment. The organization provides on-going monthly check-ins with adults to identify areas in daily life that they may need support. It also is working towards providing educational opportunities to improve skills such as money management.
While there may not be any imminent decreases in waiting list periods in the near future we, as a community, can continue to be aware of the waiting list for Medicaid disability waiver program and provide our friends, neighbors, and family with support they need while they are waiting.