During the COVID-19 pandemic, federal regulators allowed some flexibility in who could be defined as a Personal Care Services (PCS) caregiver. DHW received approval to allow agencies to hire parents of minor children and spouses as paid caregivers. The flexibility, however, was granted under the federal public health emergency.
Health and Human Services has declared that the end of the federal public health emergency will be May 11. Since this announcement, the department has heard from families asking about the increased flexibility for Personal Care Services and Attendant Care Services continuing.
The department is working to get federal approval to extend the ability to pay parents and spouses as caregivers. The department recently applied for a Medicaid waiver to allow for an additional 60 days, through July 11.
The department is researching several options to extend this flexibility permanently while addressing the complicated regulatory challenges.
We hope to have a solution identified in the coming weeks that would allow for parents of minor children and spouses to continue to care for their loved ones in extraordinary circumstances when there are no other options for care available.
William Deseron is a program manager in the Idaho Medicaid Policy Unit.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov.
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