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Family as Paid Personal Care Providers: A National Analysis

By Carli Friedman, CQL Director of Research

The United States long-term services and supports system is built on largely unpaid (informal) labor. There are a number of benefits to allowing family caregivers serve as paid personal care providers including better health and satisfaction outcomes, expanded workforces, and cost effectiveness. The purpose of this study was to examine how Medicaid HCBS Section 1915(c) waivers for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities allocate personal care services to pay family caregivers. Our analysis revealed about two-thirds of waivers in fiscal year (FY) 2014 allowed for family caregivers to potentially be paid for personal care services. This amounted to up to $2.71 billion of projected spending, which is slightly more than half of all personal care service expenditures in FY 2014.

This article is a summary of the following journal manuscript: Friedman, C., & Rizzolo, M. C. (2016). Un/Paid labor: Medicaid Home and Community Based Services waivers that pay family as personal care providers. Intellectual and developmental disabilities, 54(4), 233-244.