Why home care might become affordable the next four years
Paying for senior care is expensive.
Many don’t meet the requirements to get covered under Medicare, and many seniors require a full-time caregiver.
But the options for care might have opened up with the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, who addressed the nation as President and Vice President elect this past Saturday.
Let’s take a look at their plan for caregiving and a glimpse into other issues that mattered most to seniors during the 2020 election.
The state of caregiving in 2020
Caregiving is often an invisible role, yet there are around 53 million unpaid caregivers in the U.S.
Many hold down full-time jobs and juggle raising kids with caring for an elderly parent.
That’s a lot of responsibility resting on one person’s shoulders. But to pass off the care onto a professional or to choose a nursing home costs more than what many families can afford. The average cost of senior living is around 100,000 a year while skilled home care averages around 80,000 a year, according to Senior Living.
These financial realities, plus the “caregiving shortage” that experts predict make for a tricky future for families who need help with home health care.
As the senior population continues to grow, more than half of people aged 65 and older will need some sort of long term care in their lifetime.
The Biden/Harris plan for the future of caregiving
With all of these facts in mind, the country needs a plan to address these challenges.
According to the Biden and Harris campaign website, “caregivers and early childhood educators- disproportionately women of color- have been underpaid, unseen, and undervalued for far too long.”
SeaCare has highlighted some of these challenges here on our blog.
The site lays out Biden and Harris’s plan for the next four years, which include cutting back on tax breaks for real estate investors earning more than $400,000. This in turn will fund the $775 billion plan, which includes giving tax credits to informal caregivers.
The plan also includes:
- Crossing off all the names on the Medicaid wait list for home care
The new presidency would do this by increasing Medicaid funding to all states, which will give families caregiving options.
- Providing alternatives to institutional care
This would involve funding to test home and community-based care as an option. Their care plan outlines that this “could include” respite services to make it easier for unpaid caregivers to work.
- Adding 150,000 community health workers
The plan outlines that “Biden will more than triple the number of community health workers.” This will be done by providing grant funding as an option to states through Medicaid.
The expansion in community healthcare will add about 1.5 million jobs to the workforce according to the plan.
What mattered most to seniors election 2020
The 2020 election broke all sorts of records.
Kamala Harris became the first Black and Indian American person, and woman, to be elected as Vice President.
Voter turnout hit a record 62 percent of the population eligible to vote, according to the Associated Press. On November 3rd, USA Today reported that over 100 million people voted early for this year’s election, also a record-breaker.
Seniors may have been a big contributor to election results.
AARP reported that the majority of early ballot votes came from Americans 50 years and older, and the same article cited that women over 50 are some of the most “reliable voters.” Medicare, handling of the coronavirus, the economy, prescription drugs and long-term care were some of the top concerns for voters over 50, as according to AARP.
It’s clear that Biden and Harris have a plan for least one of those topics in the next four years.
SeaCare will be watching how these issues affect seniors as the next presidency takes office.