Last week, President Biden unveiled a $2 trillion American Jobs Plan, which would drive $400 billion into home and community based services. The administration said the plan would “solidify the infrastructure for the care economy by creating jobs and raising the wages and benefits for essential home care workers.” The plan would also expand access to home and community-based services under Medicaid. HCAOA Executive Director, Vicki Hoak, was among other industry leaders in her praise for the plan. “We’re very pleased to see President Biden’s support for home-based care – especially his commitment to making certain all Americans have access to affordable care and support in their own homes.
A strong investment in our caregiving workforce, particularly those in the Medicaid program, is critical and we continue to advocate for increased Medicaid reimbursement for home and community based care so our caregivers are paid fair wages. It's wonderful to see that the proposal would make community-based services a mandated service under Medicaid. For too many decades, home care has been viewed as an exception to the rule, requiring a waiver to have Medicaid pay for in-home care. This finally recognizes that people prefer to age in their own homes – living as independently as possible. It’s a win-win for government because home care is the more cost-effective option and most people want to stay in their own homes.”
The home care industry is the sixth fastest growing sector of the U.S. economy and accounts for around 3.4 million jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The sector is expected to grow 34% over the next decade. Despite the demand, the median hourly wage for home care workers is less than $13.