Yes on 1 - Expanding the Home Care Field in Maine
This November, Maine voters have an historic opportunity to pass the first universal home care program in the nation. Maine Question 1 makes sure all Maine families can access the care they need while investing in the home care workforce.
Maine has the oldest population in the nation, and 70 percent of us will need some form of long-term care as we live longer. But with costs estimated to exceed $54,000 per year for full-time home care¹, very few Mainers can afford the care their families need to age independently.
Home care workers in Maine earn $11.70 per hour², on average, making it difficult for agencies to recruit and retain skilled home care workers – and preventing home care workers from rising out of poverty, staying in the field long-term and providing for their own families.
Our current care system is broken and unfair. People must spend down their resources to be eligible for MaineCare or have access to great personal wealth to meet the rising costs of care.
We believe that Maine can do more to support older adults, people with disabilities, and their families in accessing the care they need. Home Care for All is a bold step forward in supporting caregivers and families, and in asserting our state’s values of care and community.
Question 1 will:
Provide a universal home care benefit. Every person who needs in-home and community support services will receive the resources from the Universal Home Care Program to access the help they need. The benefit will be universal — everyone in Maine who needs care will be eligible.
Create dedicated funding for home and community-based services. Rather than relying upon the legislature to balance long-term care needs against other important priorities, like education and transportation, this initiative creates a new source of funding, outside the General Fund, for long-term care (and specifically for home and community-based care).
Create a board with representation from home care agencies. We believe that those in the care system know how to best deliver high-quality care to Mainers across the state. Creating a board where all members are part of the day-to-day care system, and ensuring that three of those seats are filled by representatives of personal care agencies, puts decision-making power in the hands of those we can trust with our care.
Help recruit and retain workers. Setting a minimum wage reimbursement level across this new system of care will stabilize the Maine home care workforce. Home care agencies should have the resources available to pay workers a fair wage, run a profitable business and provide the highest quality care possible. Paying a higher wage is likely to attract workers to the field and to our state to meet the home care worker shortage. The referendum will allow agencies to compensate workers at a level that prevents losing them to retail and fast food jobs. Agencies need caregivers in rural areas to meet the demand there, and rural communities need more jobs.
Are you with us? Sign your agency on as a public supporter of Question 1
1. “Compare Long Term Care Costs Across the United States.” Genworth, September 26, 2017. https://www.genworth.com/about-us/industry-expertise/cost-of-care.html.
2. “May 2017 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Maine.” U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2017. https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_me.htm