State caregiver matching programs complement CLASS Act, study finds

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Caregiver matching programs, which help elderly and disabled individuals manage their own home healthcare, are a good fit with various provisions of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act, according to a new study.

The CLASS Act is a provision in the Affordable Care Act that creates a premium-based voluntary insurance plan that helps people finance long-term care services and supports. CLASS provides funds that can be used for home healthcare or skilled-nursing care.

Researcher Dorie Seavey, Ph.D., director of policy research at PHI, says seniors and disabled individuals prefer hiring their own caregivers rather than relying on home care agencies. But they need better resources to find them, she added. State-developed matching between current workers and those in need could be one of the building blocks to CLASS' success, Seavey says.

The 50-state PHI study found only 16 publicly funded, state-based matching services registries and six regional matching services.

“Creating a more adequate supply of personal care aides to meet demand and to alleviate burdens on family caregivers is extremely important,” Seavey says. “We also need more effective and efficient mechanisms for deploying these aides in millions of consumer homes on a daily basis. And we need to create access to high-quality, supportive resources like training and peer mentoring for both self-directing consumers and independent providers.”
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