DHS Announces New LIFE Enrollment Process

On May 3, 2021, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) announced a new enrollment process for the Living Independence for the Elderly (LIFE) managed care program.  Persons wishing to receive their long-term services and supports through the LIFE managed care program can now enroll through the Medical Assistance Independent Enrollment Broker.  They may do so in the following ways:   

  • Online: www.paieb.com  
  • Phone: 1-877-550-4227  
  • Paper: Someone can download an application from the website above and mail it to: PA IEB, PO Box 61560, Harrisburg PA 17106. Paper applications can also be requested by calling the phone number above.  

The new process will bring the LIFE enrollment process in line with other long-term care programs including the Community HealthChoices Waiver enrollment process.  DHS’ announcement on the new process can be found here.  

LIFE is a voluntary long-term managed care program overseen by DHS.  Pennsylvania seniors (age 55 and older) who wish to continue living in their homes and communities, and have been found clinically and financially eligible, may choose to enroll in the LIFE program to access health care and home and community-based services, such as personal assistance services.  For those who have both Medicare and Medicaid, those insurances are integrated in the LIFE program.  LIFE programs are regionally based and have LIFE centers where participants may attend day programs and other activities and access health care. More information on the LIFE Program can be found here

The LIFE program should not be confused with the Community HealthChoices (CHC) Waiver, another managed care program overseen by DHS.  The CHC Waiver is operated by Medicaid managed care organizations that serve older adults and people with physical or developmental disabilities who have been found clinically and financially eligible for a nursing home level of care and who wish to remain in their home and community-based setting.  CHC is available to adults 21 and over and is available throughout Pennsylvania.  The CHC programs are runs by three managed care organizations: (i) AmeriHealth Caritas/Keystone First CHC, (ii) PA Health & Wellness, and (iii) UPMC CHC.  

Consumers should educate themselves on the differences between the CHC Waiver and the LIFE program.  Neither program locks people into enrollment.  Participants can switch their CHC plan or switch between the two programs at any time, although it can take a month or two for the change to take effect.  

Consumers who are having problems with the application process or who have been denied home and community-based services can contact PHLP’s Helpline at 1-800-274-3258 or staff@phlp.org. People can also contact PHLP if they have problems with their CHC plan or LIFE program.