Member Experience & Choice

What does it mean to be a member?

As a member of Western Wisconsin Cares’ Family Care program, you and your care team will work together to make decisions about your health and lifestyle. Together you will make the best possible choices to support you.

You will receive your long-term care services through Western Wisconsin Cares’ providers. You and your care team will work together to choose from more than 700 providers that best support your needs. When you join Family Care, we give you information on how to get a list of service providers who have agreed to work with us. You can also see listings of current providers through the following link: Full Region DirectoryService Coverage Area Map

Western Wisconsin Cares believes our members should have personal choice when receiving services. Choice means having a say in how and when care is provided. Being a member and having personal choice also means you are responsible for helping your care team find the most cost-effective ways to support you. Members may also choose to direct one or more of their services by using the Self-Directed Supports (SDS) option.

Western Wisconsin Cares is responsible for meeting the long-term care needs of ALL of our members. We can only do that if all of our members help us develop care plans that work but are also reasonable and cost-effective. By working together, we can make sure Family Care remains available to other people who need our services.

You can keep your current physicians, hospitals, clinics and pharmacies where you get your prescription medicines. Western Wisconsin Cares’ Family Care program is not responsible for these services as they are paid for by Medicare, Medicaid or other insurance – not the Family Care program. Your care team will, however, help coordinate both Family Care services and the services from your doctors and other medical providers such as your general physician, prescription medications, podiatrist, dentist and chiropractor.

How does Family Care help you choose and manage your own services?

  • Family Care supports your choices in living arrangements, daily routines and support services, and our care teams work together with you to identify reasonable ways to support your goals. If you do not think your care plan offers reasonable supports for your outcomes, you can file a grievance or appeal.
  • If you ask, we will consider using a provider we do not usually use.
  • For providers who come to your home or provide intimate personal care, we will—at your request—purchase services from any qualified provider you choose, including a family member. The provider must meet our requirements and accept our rates.
  • You have a right to change to a different care team, up to two times per calendar year. You do not have to say why you want a different team. Western Wisconsin Cares may not always be able to meet your request or give you the specific team you want.
  • You may choose to self-direct one or more of your services.

What are self-directed supports?

You can choose the Self-Directed Supports (SDS) option if you want more say in how and from whom you receive your services. With SDS, you have control over and responsibility for your own budget for services, and you may assume responsibility for hiring, training, supervising and firing your own direct care workers.

Though frequently used for in-home care, SDS can also be used outside of the home for services such as transportation and personal care at your workplace. Your care team can tell you which services can be self-directed in Family Care.

You can choose how much you want to participate in SDS. It is not an “all or none” approach. You can choose to direct one or more of your supports and services. For example, you could choose to self-direct services that help you stay in your home or help you find and keep a job. Then you could work with your care team to manage services aimed at other outcomes in your care plan.

If you are interested in SDS, please ask your care team for more information about the benefits and limitations of SDS or reference our Self-Directed Supports page.