Starting April 1, 2020, providers will receive rate increases that will allow them to fund pay raises for approximately 20,000 personal care workers instead of on July 1, 2020, as previously approved by the Maine Legislature, according to a press release issued by DHHS.
The Maine Legislature previously ratified this rate increase for the next State fiscal year, but in order to support these workers and their clients in response to COVID-19. DHHS has authorized using existing funds to begin all payment rate increases in the supplemental budget early.
Additionally, Maine has received $800,000 through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to support meals for older Mainers who are home-based and more federal funding is expected through future allotments. This is especially important at a time when the Governor encourages all Mainers to stay home. DHHS expects to be able to provide its local partners with this support in the coming days. Meal delivery volunteers will knock at the door of each home and then step back to ensure that the meal will be received while maintaining distancing..