Indiana Seniors to Rally Against In-Home Care Program Cuts

AARP and the Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging is sending a busload of 40 seniors to rally at the Statehouse on March 26, the News-Sentinel reports.

Reasons for the rally stem from proposed budget cuts to the CHOICE Home Care Program, which provides in-home services that allow older adults to stay in their homes longer, from cooking and cleaning to medication maintenance.

Over the past two years, allocation for the Choice Service budget has been cut by 15% each year, writes the article.

But that is not where the central issue lies, according to Allen Lauer, vice president for the National Active and Retired Federal Employee Association.

So far, the Indiana House has put $48.77 million into House Bill 101. Set to take effect in July, the bill allows 18 million of these dollars to be used for Medicare waiver match for each year of the budget cycle.

It currently costs $6,000 to pay for someone to stay in his or her own home through the CHOICE program, whereas is costs a person $47,000 annually to live in a nursing home.

In Indiana, about 80 cents out of every Medicaid dollar goes toward a nursing home.

Lauer would like to see that fall down to a more even split at 50/50 for each provider, believing that it is not fair for people who can be taken care of for $6,000 a year to pay the steep $47,000 figure and use Medicaid waivers to do so.

The program’s waiting lists of more than 5,000 people are also an area of concern, the article notes, as many people die before they ever get enrolled.

Lauer fears that the tendencies of most people in Indiana is to go into a nursing home if they cannot get on the CHOICE program.

The rally will take place in the North Atrium of the Indiana Statehouse at noon on March 26, the article reports.

Read the News-Sentinal article.

Written by Jason Oliva

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