Illinois Department on Aging Moving Forward with Changes to Program for Elderly

Despite a bill on Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk that would block its plans, the Illinois Department on Aging is moving forward with proposed changes to a program that provides care to elderly Illinoisans so that they can remain in their homes. The department’s community care program is designed to keep people out of more-costly nursing homes by providing help with tasks such as cooking, laundry, and bathing. But facing an aging population and dwindling state resources, the department has proposed shifting more than half of the roughly 84,000 participants into a new “community reinvestment program.” The new program would cover those who are eligible for the current program based on their need for care but don’t qualify for Medicaid. That’s currently about 43,000 people. The Rauner administration estimates that the change would save nearly $200 million a year by delivering services more efficiently – hiring services to pick up and drop off laundry rather than paying workers to do it in clients’ homes, for example. The department is continuing to meet with the local agencies that will implement the program in anticipation of a January launch date, Vera said. But the bill on Rauner’s desk, which was sent to him late last month, would prevent the department from making its proposed changes. It would also codify in state law eligibility standards that the Rauner administration had previously attempted to tighten.

Source/more: Southern Illinoisan

David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.

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