The Laureate Way

Articles to Help Families and Older Adults Manage the Challenges of Aging

What to Know About Family Care

What is family care?

Today, people are more aware of the term family care since it was proposed in 1998. It is a complex government entitlement program where consumers have many choices. The program provides professional staff to guide older adults and their families through individualized health and long term care planning, and provides financial support to individuals who qualify. 

It’s important to understand who decides family care funding and what guides those decisions.

What is Family Care?

Family care is a single flexible benefit that includes a large number of health and long-term care services that otherwise would be available through separate programs.

For those who are functionally and financially eligible, a member of the program has access to a large number of specific health services offered by Medicaid, as well as the long-term care services in the Home and Community-Based Waivers and the very flexible state-funded Community Options Program.

Some highlights of the benefit package are people receive:

  • services where they live
  • interdisciplinary case management
  • Family care services that include long-term care services and health care services
  • help coordinating their Primary Health Care
  • services that best achieve their outcomes

Funding for Family Care

In June of 2019, the Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance voted to provide $66,537,400 into the Direct Care Workforce Funding Initiative. This would would give much needed wage increases directly to caregivers. The additional funding would double the size of the current Direct Care Workforce Funding Initiative as it builds upon a $60.7 million increase from the 2017-19 biennium budget, for a total of $127.2 million. The Assembly, Senate, and Governor still need to approve the biennium budget.

“This action will target critically needed increases to address the long-term care workforce crisis,” stated Michael Pochowski, CEO of the Wisconsin Assisted Living Association.

Determining how to pay for living expenses and health care services for a loved one is a process families need to explore, whether that care is provided in-home or in a senior community. Read more on paying for senior living options