To read Paul S. Aronsohn's 2018 Annual Ombudsman Report, click below:
Q: “Why should I be interested in the Personal Preference Program (PPP)?”
A: If you and/or your relatives spend a significant part of your week providing caregiving services to your adult child who lives with Autism, the Federal government and NJ State can and will compensate all those involved, up to certain limits, as “employees” of the affected individual?
All that is required is completion of an application process, and filling out regular timesheets online. When one considers the amount of love, time, and effort that goes into providing care to the individual(s), being paid for these services can be a great help. What you should know and be aware of:
WHY PARTAKE IN THE PERSONAL PREFERENCE PROGRAM?
PPP enables affected individuals (“consumers”) to:
- Choose the services they need and want
- Hire anyone they want: relatives, friends, neighbors
- Design a service plan to meet their schedule
- Buy equipment, devices, make home modifications
- Exercise greater control, flexibility and choice over their personal care
ACCESS A CASH ALLOWANCE
An affected individual can use a cash allowance to:
- Purchase services from an agency
- Pay friends or relatives when providing caregiving
- Make modifications to the home, such as a ramp or chair lift, that help the Consumer live more independently
- Buy equipment, appliances, technology or other items that increase independence, such as a microwave oven, or front loading washing machine that the Consumer can reach from a wheelchair
DETAILS: Once families have established their Medicaid eligibility through an NJ Family Care Managed Care Organization/insurance company, they are eligible for Personal Care Assistant services (PCA).
These are non-emergency, health related tasks administered by NJ FamilyCare. Tasks include help with activities of daily living (“ADL”’s), and also household duties essential to the patient's health and comfort, such as bathing, dressing, meal preparation, and light housekeeping.
1. What is the Personal Preference Program (“PPP”)?
PPP is a way for affected individuals to receive Personal Care Assistant (PCA) services via NJ FamilyCare.
(Per the NJ Department of Human Services, NJ FamilyCare is not a welfare program, but rather the State of New Jersey's way of providing affordable health coverage for kids and certain low-income parents. See www.nj.gov/humanservices/dmahs/clients/njfamilycare/ )
2. Using a "Cash & Counseling" approach, along with the concept of "consumer direction," PCA services can be accessed under PPP, which allows seniors and people with disabilities who are NJ FamilyCare recipients to direct and manage their own services.
With a monthly cash allowance, participants - or "consumers" - work with a consultant to develop a Cash Management Plan (CMP). This plan helps them decide the services they need and the individuals and/or agencies they can hire to provide those services. Consumers who are cognitively impaired or unable to make their own decisions can choose a representative to make decisions on their behalf.
3. Financial Management PPP also includes Fiscal Management (FM) services to help consumers with the financial aspects of the program. The FM handles all enrollment and payroll responsibilities for individuals/agencies and acts as a bookkeeping service. They also visit every 3 months to monitor and manage services and ensure the safety and well-being of consumers.
BACKGROUND SUMMARY: The Personal Preference Program requires greater individual responsibility. But in return, it offers the consumers more control, flexibility and choice over the services they receive.
Horizon NJ Health
United Health Care
11A Quakerbridge Plaza, Mercerville NJ
(Mailing: PO Box 705 Trenton NJ 08625)
Personal Preference Program: An Overview
Earlier this week, Governor Chris Christie signed A-3824 into law. The law 'establishes Office of Ombudsman for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities and their families.'
From Lilo H. Stainton of NJ Spotlight: "Estimated to cost anywhere from $150,000 to $1.9 million annually, depending on its workload, the ombudsman and a limited staff would be responsible for helping individuals access appropriate federal, state, and local services; assisting them with communications with government agencies and dispute resolution, while serving as neutral arbitrators; identifying patterns of complaints and recommend improvements; and working with state agencies to better reach those they serve. In addition, the office would be required to report its work to state officials, the governor and the lawmaker each year."
(By Beverley Roberts, the ARC of NJ)
June 2017: NJ FamilyCare - Important Information
It is important for families and staff to be aware of the necessity of completing the NJ FamilyCare renewal application if it arrives in the mail. The renewal application is mailed to those who already have Medicaid, and it is necessary for it to be completed and mailed back quickly, in order to continue Medicaid benefits. If this renewal application is ignored, the result would be the termination of Medicaid!
Please note that the term "NJ FamilyCare" is the same as "Medicaid." The "Aged, Blind, and Disabled" Medicaid program is one of the Medicaid categories in which many individuals with I/DD receive their Medicaid benefit.
Although a renewal application can be sent out as often as every year (depending upon the county in which one lives), some families may never have received a renewal application for their son/daughter's NJ FamilyCare/ Medicaid, while others may receive a renewal application every year. The NJ FamilyCare/ Medicaid renewal application is sent through the regular mail, at different times in the year, so if a family does not receive it, they should not be concerned.
Please share this information with others who may also be interested.
Beverly Roberts, Director, Mainstreaming Medical Care
The Arc of New Jersey
985 Livingston Avenue
North Brunswick, NJ 08902
Direct line: 732.246.2567; T:732.246.2525 x34; F:732.246.2567