CHOICE Home Care
In 1987, CAC and our coalition organizations helped to get state legislation passed to create the Community and Home Options to Institutional Care for the Elderly and Disabled (CHOICE) program. Since then, CHOICE has served tens of thousands of Hoosiers and their family caregivers. On countless occasions, CHOICE has been a vital service to senior citizens and people with disabilities. It allows people who require just a few hours of care each day to remain in their homes with part time assistance, rather than being forced prematurely into round-the-clock nursing facilities.
Throughout the years, CAC has continued to advocate for the State of Indiana to fully fund CHOICE.
CHOICE is more cost-effective than nursing home care
- Nursing facilities: In 2020, the average yearly cost of nursing home care paid for through Medicaid was $57,132 per person. The state paid $19,082 and the federal government paid $38,050. (FSSA 2020 Annual Report on CHOICE)
- CHOICE: In 2020, the average cost of services through the CHOICE program was around $2,370 per person, based on 3,560 participants served per month, and an average utilization of 4.2 months. (FSSA 2020 Annual Report on CHOICE)
- As of 6/30/20, there are 2,011 on the waiting list for CHOICE services.
CHOICE funding was under attack in the 2021 Session of the Indiana General Assembly
People overwhelmingly say they do not want to end up in nursing homes. The CHOICE program helps protect the dignity and independence of our elderly and disabled and saves Indiana money in the long run.
The Governor’s budget proposed to cut CHOICE nearly $5,000,000 in each of the next two years. As of December 31, 2020, there is a statewide waiting list of nearly 2,000 people which has been increasing with state cutbacks due to COVID-19. This proposed cut to CHOICE funding would have increased the number of people on the waiting list by 2,000 in the first year, and by another 2,000 in the second year.
The population of older adults in Indiana is its fastest growing segment. One out of every five Hoosiers, or more than 20%, will be age 65 or older by 2030. In 2015, it was 15%. In these hard economic times, and with a pandemic raging, Indiana cannot afford to reduce its investment in home and community based services like the CHOICE program.
As a society, we are only as strong as the most vulnerable among us. CHOICE is the right direction for Indiana. It helps thousands of people stay out of nursing homes and saves Indiana taxpayers significantly. In these hard economic times, and with a pandemic raging, Indiana cannot afford to reduce its investment in home and community based services like the CHOICE program.
Thankfully, funding for the CHOICE Home Care Program was fully restored in the final version of the biennial budget (House Enrolled Act 1001).