Navigation Links
Majority of California's Medi-Cal caregivers live in or near poverty

The demand for caregivers is growing rapidly as California's population ages, but the majority of state's Medi-Cal caregivers earn poverty or near-poverty wages and have poor access to health care and food, a new study from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research has found.

Fifty-seven percent of paid Medi-Cal caregivers and almost half of all 450,000 paid caregivers in the state have incomes that leave them in poverty or near poverty, according to the study, "Hidden in Plain Sight: California's Paid Medi-Cal Caregivers Are Vulnerable." Medi-Cal is the state's public health insurance program for low-income seniors or adults with long-term illnesses or disabilities.

"Paid caregivers do a lot but get paid very little," said Geoffrey Hoffman, the study's lead author. "They play a critical and complex role caring for our aging or disabled parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors yet can earn only a little more than minimum wage."

With recent state budget cuts, the situation for caregivers is already more precarious; it could worsen now that the state's Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) program has transitioned into a different program, and if further cuts are made to In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), Hoffman noted.

The study is based on the 2009 California Health Interview Survey, which is administered by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and is the nation's largest state health survey.

An estimated 6 million caregivers in California provide much-needed services for a family member, friend or other individual with a long-term illness or disability. Of these caregivers, about 450,000 are paid for the services they provide, and two-thirds of them approximately 290,000 are paid Medi-Cal caregivers.

The study found:

  • Paid Medi-Cal caregivers earn the least
    The average monthly income for paid Medi-Cal caregivers was $1,970, compared with $4,222 for caregivers who were not paid for the assistance they provided.

  • Average wage for paid caregivers is low
    Paid Medi-Cal caregivers reported providing an average of 43 hours of care per week, which, at an approximate monthly income of $1,970, translates to a little more than $11 per hour. In contrast, the median hourly wage in the state in 2010 was $18.13.

  • Many paid caregivers can't afford basic necessities
    Paid Medi-Cal caregivers who earned less than $21,660 a year (which is below 200 percent of the federal poverty level) had rates of food insecurity that were twice those of low-income unpaid caregivers. Food insecurity refers to reducing meal sizes or skipping meals due to a lack of sufficient resources to buy food.

  • Paid caregiver turnover is high
    Among paid Medi-Cal caregivers, nearly 16 percent were at their current job for less than one year and only about 18 percent had been at their job for more than 10 years. (Close to one-third of both unpaid caregivers and employed non-caregivers reported being at the same job for more than 10 years.)

  • Paid caregivers more likely to be uninsured
    Paid Medi-Cal caregivers were almost twice as likely as non-caregiving adults to be currently uninsured (31 percent vs. 18 percent).

"When we talk about caregiving, we should be thinking not only of the supportive services we provide to older adults but also the vulnerable people providing those services," Hoffman said.

The downsizing of the Adult Day Health Care program, which started on April 1, when the state transitioned to the new Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS) program, and a proposed 20 percent cut to In-Home Supportive Services workers' hours, which is currently blocked by a federal court, could have a devastating impact on seniors and people with disabilities, Hoffman noted.

Adult Day Health Care offers social, health and therapeutic services to frail older adults to help them remain independent in the community; In-Home Supportive Services helps older low-income adults and people with disabilities pay for services such as cleaning, cooking, running errands, help taking their medicines and other tasks.

"Cuts to state programs for seniors will come at the expense of California's seniors, but they will also harm paid caregivers," Hoffman said. "What is needed is more support for these economically vulnerable Californians so that they can take better care both of older care recipients and themselves."


Contact: Letisia Marquez
University of California - Los Angeles

Related medicine news :

1. Majority of Americans say research and development are key to building US economy
2. Majority of B.C. women take prescription drugs during pregnancy: UBC study
3. Majority of Americans Give Quality of Health Care a C, D or F
4. Majority of U.S. Adults Had Troubled Childhoods: CDC
5. Detroits urban farms could provide a majority of produce for local residents
6. Majority of community facilities performing breast MRI exams meet ACRIN and EUSOBI technical requirements
7. Majority of Ontarians suffering from rheumatoid arthritis not receiving needed speciality care
8. Majority of young victims of unintentional shootings shot by another youth
9. New Poll Finds Majority of Americans Are Unaware of Issues Facing Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans and Troops
10. R-Biopharm Group Purchases a Majority Ownership in Trilogy Lab, Expanding US Operations
11. For Vast Majority, Driving and Cell Phones Dont Mix
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 30, 2015 , ... ChiliPad , Chili Technology’s temperature-controlled ... through quality sleep. Tim DiFrancesco, training coach for the LA Lakers, recommends ChiliPad ... precisely regulates the surface temperature of each side of the bed so that ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... patient centered orthopedic care. Led by John Vitolo, M.D., the center offers ... condition, the team at Advocare Orthopedic & Sports Medicine is ready to help ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Dr. Seth D. Margulies ... locations, patients can visit Dr. Margulies to experience the best available orthodontic experience in ... title of "NJ Top Dentist"! , Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Newly reviewed and approved “NJ Top Dentist”, ... Tufts School of Dental Medicine in 1935. His father graduated from NYU School ... in dentistry as well as their commitment and passion to the Practice of Dentistry. ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The recently ... Poison Data System (NPDS) reveals that in 2014, someone called a poison center ... two million of which were human exposure cases. , The American Association of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... India , November 30, 2015 ... 2014, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.6% ... was valued at USD 135.6 million in 2014, and is ... 2020. --> According to the new Market Research Report ... invasive, non-invasive), By End User (Hospitals, ambulatory care, others) - Analysis ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... PUNE, India , November 30, 2015 ... new market research report "Dental Lasers Market by Product (Soft ... Treatment, Periodontitis), End User (Hospitals, Clinics), and Geography - Global ... USD 224.7 Million by 2020, at a CAGR of 5.2% ... , Browse 140 market data Tables and 62 Figures spread ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Wash. and ST. ... Cross and Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX ) today ... benefit agreement. The partnership, which began in 1999, will ... --> --> After evaluating pharmacy ... process, Premera concluded that Express Scripts continues to offer ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: