Home-care aides — providers of hands-on care to older adults and people with disabilities — are one of Ohio’s fastest growing occupations, growing at more than five times the rate of overall jobs in the economy. Home-health and personal-care jobs continued to grow during the last two recessions, and the numbers of workers employed in the industry has nearly tripled since 2001. According to the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI), Ohio now has approximately 86,000 home-care aides, including 66,000 home-health aides, and 20,000 personal-care aides.
Rapid growth of the home-care industry is largely good news. Given most people’s preference for in-home care and the fact that home-based services are less expensive than institutional care, growth of the home-care industry is largely a win-win.
However, the home care industry is riddled with high turnover rates, workforce vacancies and related quality-of-care issues. This is largely the result of low job satisfaction due to low wages, part-time and unpredictable hours, and a lack of benefits that come with the job. In order to serve the growing public demand for these services, while ensuring continuity and quality of care, policymakers must address the need for better wages and benefits in the industry.
KidsCare is Arizona’s health insurance program for children who don’t qualify for Medicaid in working
families with incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level – a maximum of $47,700 for a family of
four. As a budget cutting, strategy, Arizona froze enrollment in KidsCare effective January 2010. Arizona
was allowed to continue the enrollment freeze because it did so before the signing of the Affordable Care
Act. No other state has a freeze on their children’s health insurance program and states are prohibited from
diminishing children’s health coverage that existed on March 23, 2010.