Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals | Kathy Kliebert, Secretary

Statewide Initiatives

211 - Get Connected. Get Answers.

About the New Opportunities Waiver (NOW)

The mission of the NOW is to utilize the principles of Self Determination to supplement the family and/or community supports while supporting dignity, quality of life, and security in the everyday lives of people while maintaining the Recipient in the community. The NOW includes an array of services aimed at assisting people to live as independently as possible.

NOW Services

NOW services include residential support, respite, community integration and development, work-related supports, habilitation, environmental modifications and specialized equipment, professional services, as well as other services. Services are based on the need of the recipient and are developed using a person centered process. The person-centered process coordinated by the case manager will formulate an individualized plan for each recipient. NOW services are provided as a supplement to regular Medicaid State Plan services and natural supports. NOW should not be viewed as a lifetime entitlement or a fixed annual allocation.

Due to the demand for NOW services, there is a Request for Services Registry (RFSR), which lists people, who have a qualifying developmental disability (DD) according to the Louisiana DD definition and their request date.  The NOW is offered to people on the Registry on a first-come, first-served basis, with the exception of people who qualify for the NOW through emergency placement or other designated placements.

How to Apply

People who are interested in being added to the RFSR for the NOW should contact their local District/Authority.  The application process does not begin until a waiver slot becomes available. At that time, medical and financial determinations will be completed simultaneously to verify that the person has a developmental disability and meets the financial and medical/psychological requirements for an Intermediate Care Facility for the Developmentally Disabled (ICF/DD).

Participant Requirements

The NOW is an appropriate option for people whose health and welfare can be assured through an Individual Support Plan (ISP) for community placement.  The NOW is intended to provide specific, activity-focused services which enhance the quality of life for the person, rather than custodial care.

To qualify for the NOW, a person must:

  • Be 3 years of age or older,
  • Have a developmental disability, according to the Louisiana definition for DD, which manifested prior to age 22.
  • Meet the ICF/DD level of care

Additionally interested persons must meet the following financial criteria:

Income may be up to 3 times the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) amount.  For children, income of other family members is not considered if the child receives SSI. Parental income is counted toward minor children for the month of admission only.  The income of the minor and the income of the parent(s) with whom the child lived during the month of admission are counted together. Countable resources cannot be worth more than $2,000 for a single person or $3000 for a couple who needs ICF/DD level of care.  

Note: The financial limits are subject to change each year

NOW Fact Sheet

2011 NOW Fact Sheet

Waiver Guidelines, Documents and Forms

All Waiver Guideline Documents and Forms

To access all Provider Documents and Forms for the NOW Waiver, please click HERE.

All Medicaid Provider Manuals with current chapter updates can be found HERE.