Letter: Action is needed to support caregivers


Letter writer Tom Mohan writes on behalf of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement asking Gov. Kim Reynolds and officials to acknowledge the needed support for caregivers during COVID-19.

Tom Mohan

At Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, we are concerned for our community members who have lived without essential services for years under our privatized Medicaid system and who are now at risk of going without needed care due to coronavirus. The following policies should be pursued immediately by our governor and state officials to aggressively bolster our care infrastructure.

Allow overtime pay for home health and consumer-directed attendant care (CDAC) workers.

Enable members to hire family members as staff, instead of listing family members as “Natural Supports” (which currently cannot be paid).

Waive requirements of family members to undergo background checks. 

Give home healthcare workers paid sick leave so that they can stay home and not risk further spread in the Home- and Community-Based Services  population.

Fast-track all back payments to home health and CDAC workers (many people are still waiting on checks or payments from the state and managed care organizations for services rendered months ago).

Allow caregivers and other displaced workers to access the Health Insurance Premium Payment program and keep their private health insurance plans to keep from overloading our Medicaid system.

Establish a database for people seeking work to be connected to people who currently need home-care. 

We need swift action to support caregivers and those receiving care. The time is now.