Illinois House Approves $173 Million Home Care Bill

This month, the Illinois House of Representatives approved a supplemental spending bill that provides funds for community care to keep seniors in their homes. 

Approved in a landslide 115-2 vote, the legislation allocates $173 million for home health services.

The approval is the latest in a string of events that began in mid-March with a lack of funding for Illinois to provide home and community-based services through the state’s Community Care Program. 

Since then, home care workers in Illinois and parts of Indiana have campaigned publicly to get the program funding reinstated. The campaign involved broadcast, television, print and online media as well as direct mail to union members and seniors across the state.

The Illinois Department of Aging (DOA), which administers the Community Care Program, supports 85,000 seniors with services that enable them to stay at home, keeping them out of costly institutionalized settings such as hospitals and even nursing homes.

The approval of the bill in the House was met with applause from the home care community, including the Partnership for Quality Home Healthcare.

“We are gratified that states recognize home-based care as a key tool for containing healthcare costs,” said Eric Berger, CEO of the Partnership. “Home healthcare providers stand ready to assist state and federal lawmakers to ensure seniors receive the care they need in the most cost-effective setting available.”

Under the Community Care Program, the state pays just $8,000 per person for home health care compared with $38,000 per person for institutionalized care. 

Written by Jason Oliva