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Pritzker Administration Announces $54 Million Investment for In-Home Care Providers

In-Home Care Providers to Receive Retroactive Pay for Services Provided from January 1 – March 31, 2021

 

Springfield, IL – Amidst the worst pandemic in a century, the Pritzker administration today announced increased rates of pay for eligible in-home care providers. Made possible by funding from Governor Pritzker’s FY 21 and 22 budgets, this $54 million investment will strengthen the social safety net in the state. The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) and Department of Human Services (DHS) will issue a bonus payment for services rendered by eligible providers between January 1 and March 31, 2021, to make up for the rate increase that was frozen until April 1st. Providers will receive an additional rate increase on January 1, 2022, paving the way for employees to receive a minimum wage of $15 an hour.

 

“One of the best ways we can recognize the workers who support our most vulnerable residents is by ensuring they can support themselves and their families,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I’m proud to deliver additional compensation – including retroactive pay for the early months of 2021 – to the providers who bravely did their jobs as physical and mental caretakers during the pandemic. A strong social safety net begets a strong state, and Illinois is investing in the people who make in-home care for our seniors possible.”

 

As of April 1st of this year, in-home service providers within IDOA’s Community Care Program (CCP), which provides care to nearly 70,000 older Illinoisans, received a rate increase to $23.40 an hour. The department will now make a one-time bonus payment to over 400 providers for services provided from January 1 through March 31, 2021 at that increased rate. The rate increase will assist with stabilization of the CCP workforce, while the additional rate increase early next year will allow providers to pay individual workers a minimum wage of $15. Furthermore, the increases will assist older Illinoisans in need of critical services to remain in their own home to avoid premature institutionalization.

 

“I would like to thank Governor Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly for truly respecting yesterday, supporting today, and planning for tomorrow by raising the in-home service providers rates for the CCP program,” said Paula Basta, Director of IDoA. “The CCP Program supports some of our state’s most vulnerable residents. While the pandemic has had a lasting economic impact on Illinois and other states across the nation, we thank Governor Pritzker for investing in older Illinoisans, and our Aging Network.”

 

Established in 1979 by Public Act 81-202, IDoA’s CCP Program is designed to meet the needs of Illinois residents age 60 and older who need help with the basic activities of daily living but wish to continue living in their own homes with assistance. The program provides community-based services and cost-effective alternatives to nursing home placement for older Illinoisans, enabling them to remain independent and “age in place.” Services include comprehensive care coordination, adult day services, in-home service, emergency home response services, and automated medication dispenser service.

 

Additionally, IDHS Home Services Program will also be issuing bonus payments to nearly 90 providers for homemaker services rendered since the beginning of the year through March 31, 2021. As of April 1st, 2021, the Home Services Program homemaker rate is set at $23.40 an hour. An additional rate increase scheduled for early next year will allow providers to pay workers a minimum wage of $15 an hour. Also, the one-time bonus payments and increased rate of pay will help retain current Home Services Program employee and attract new workers to apply.


“Thanks to Governor Pritzker’s leadership, these new pay structures will help bolster providers. The IDHS Home Services Program one-time bonus payments are intended to help stabilize the HSP workforce and represent another step to help us protect critical services for people with disabilities, said Grace B. Hou, Secretary, Illinois Department of Human Services.


Caregivers and in-home providers across the state continued to deliver vital services throughout COVID-19 - despite the increased risks - while adhering to guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health. These ongoing visits remain crucial in accessing and supporting the physical and mental well-being of older adults in communities across the state.

 

“Home care workers showed up every day braving both the risks and economic challenges of working during a pandemic to provide quality care to our state's seniors and people with disabilities. We appreciate the Governor's leadership in prioritizing these bonus payments and increased wage supports. They are a crucial step towards recognizing home care workers' valuable service and stabilizing this crucial workforce,” said Greg Kelley, President of SEIU Healthcare Illinois which represents over 60,000 Illinois home care workers.

 

Investments in our senior citizens not only allow them to remain in their own homes but are also a cost-effective way of providing care. The average monthly cost of care in a state paid nursing facility for Fiscal Year 2019 was $3,362.39. For every month a Medicaid individual remains on CCP, the state saves $2,401.69.

 

For more information on programs and services available to assist older adults in Illinois, visit the IDoA website at www.illinois.gov/aging or contact the Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 (hearing impaired call 888-206-1327) or by email aging.ilsenior@illinois.gov. For services available through DHS, visit the DHS website.

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