Proposed Maine Law Would Raise Compensation of Home-Care Workers

After more than a decade of stagnant wages, home health and personal care workers in Maine could finally see their compensation increase in the face of growing demand from the state’s burgeoning senior population. Legislation proposed by House Speaker Mark Eves (D-North Berwick) and Rep. Ellie Espling (R-New Gloucester) would increase the hourly Medicaid reimbursement rate paid to home care agencies from $15 to $25. The lawmakers have proposed separate bills, now before the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services, that are expected to be combined in a move of bipartisan cooperation. It’s one of several efforts in this waning legislative session to address the growing needs of Maine’s rapidly aging population, including affordable housing and family caregiver support. The bills on home care workers’ compensation would raise their pay from about $9 an hour — usually without benefits or mileage reimbursement — to $15 an hour — possibly with health benefits and mileage reimbursement. The increase would cost taxpayers about $9 million annually.

Source/more: Portland (ME) Press-Herald

David Wingate is an elder law and estate planning attorney in Frederick and Montgomery, Counties, Maryland. The law practice consists of wills, power of attorneys, trusts, Medicaid and asset protection.

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