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Welcome to the website of the Public Authority for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) in Alameda County

The Public Authority is unique in that it is a public agency that provides services and advocacy that promote independent living and support high-quality homecare services for IHSS consumers and workers in Alameda County.

Our hope is that this website will inform you of the services and purpose of the Public Authority.


In the Spotlight

MAJOR IHSS CHANGES effective January 2015





BE SURE TO READ AND FOLLOW THE NOTICES FROM THE STATE AND ALAMEDA COUNTY

ATTEND TRAINING TO LEARN THE NEW REQUIREMENTS AND FILL OUT THE NEW FORMS

In compliance with new federal law, the CA State Budget for 2014-15 includes these changes to the IHSS program, effective January 1, 2015:

  • overtime pay (time-and-a-half) beyond 40 hours and up to a maximum of 61 hours a week
  • pay for up to 7 hours a week of travel time between jobs
  • payment for attending the IHSS orientation and for necessary waiting at medical appointments (a new IHSS task)
  • a limit of 61 hours a week most providers can work
  • approval by IHSS social worker required if consumer (recipient) must have worker (provider) work more hours than specified in their workweek agreement IF that increase results in either the provider working ovetime (over 40 hours) that week OR working more overtime hours than their usual workweek
  • a new timesheet and other enrollment forms
  • allocation of a consumer's hours on a weekly basis
  • the requirement to submit new forms (TEMP 3000 and SOC 846, 426A, 2255 and 2256) by December 15, 2014
  • suspension from the IHSS program for not submitting the new forms and for violation of the 61 hour workweek and 7 hour a week travel time limits
The Alameda County IHSS program will be mailing out a notice in November announcing a schedule of trainings that will explain the new forms and requirements.  This training is voluntary but highly recommended.  

During the first week in November 2014, all IHSS providers and consumers are to receive in the mail a packet from the State with the new forms and instructions. 

The TEMP 3000 form, which documents agreement to comply with the new rules, must be submitted by all consumers by December 15, 2014.  If not received by December 15, the County is to follow-up until it is submitted.  The SOC 2256, which lists the number of hours each of their providers is to work in a week, must be submitted by all recipients who employ multiple providers by December 15, 2014.  If it is not submitted by March 1, 2015, the recipient's providers will not be allowed to work effective April 1, 2015. 

The SOC 846 Provider Enrollment Agreement must be submitted by all providers by December 15, 2014.  If not submitted by March 1, 2015, the provider will terminated from the IHSS program effective April 1, 2015.  All providers working for multiple recipients must submit SOC 2255 by December 15, 2015 and they cannot be paid for travel time until it is received. If it is not received by March 1, 2015, the provider will be terminated from the IHSS program effective April 1, 2015.

Recipients will receive a notice from the State specifying the hours they can receive each week during each month. That workweek starts Saturday midnight and ends one minute before midnight the following Saturday. The workweek amount varies based on the number of days in a month.  The recipient must get approval from their IHSS social worker if the recipient MUST increase their provider's hours during one week by shifting hours from the next week, AND that now results in overtime pay (over 40 hours) or in overtime pay that exceeds the usual amount as specified in the workweek agreement.  This shift must be due to an unanticipated need that can't be delayed and which significantly impacts the recipient's health or safety.  The provider cannot work more hours in a month than the recipient is authorized and cannot exceed the 61 hour limit in a week. if the request to shift hours is denied and the timesheet was submitted with the unapproved overtime, the provider is charged with a violation of the 61 hour limit.  

The payment of overtime (over 40 hours up to the 61 hour a week limit) and up to 7 hours a week of of travel time (time traveling DIRECTLY from one IHSS job to another IHSS job in the same day) will begin starting January 1, 2015. Although the 61 and 7 hour/week limits are in place January 1, 2015, providers will not be charged with violations of those limits until April 1, 2015. 

Starting April 1, 2015, timesheets exceeding the 61 and 7 hour limits, and shifting hours that results in overtime or additional overtime without approval will result in a provider being charged with a violation.  The second violation will require the provider to attend a training to learn the rules.  Not attending the training will be considered a third violation.  The third violation will result in the provider being suspended from the IHSS program for 3 months.  A fourth violation will result in a suspension of 12 months, which will require the provioder to complete the full enrollment process, including background check, to work again.  

Disability Rights California (www.disabilityrightsca.org) has a document that explains the new IHSS rules.

The New Bargaining Agreement with SEIU ULTCW

In July 2014, a new contract was agreed uopon between the Public Authority and Alameda County and SEIU ULTCW.  It includes a wage increase to $12.50, that should begin by November or december 2014. This will be the highest IHSS wage in any county in CA.  

By July 2016, the public authorities in 8 counties, including Alameda, no longer will be the employer of record for bargaining with the union representing the IHSS workforce in their county.  The responsibility for bargaining wages and benefits will shift to a Statewide Authority in Sacramento.  The current plan is for public authorities to continue to provide the services they do now: such as the Registry, training and administering health benefits for IHSS providers

Advisory Board Seeking New Members: an IHSS Consumer 60 Years or Older

If you are a current or former IHSS consumer living in Alameda County and are 60 years or older, please consider applying to join our Advisory Board.  We are accepting applications for this positions. Our Advisory Board is know for its advocacy activities and mandated to make recommendations to improve the IHSS program and Public Authoriuty services.  The Board is considered the best informed and most influential among all the public authorities in California.  The Board meets on the first Thursday of each month (except August) at 1:30 PM.  Members are paid $25 for attending each Advisory Board meeting and are reimbursed for actual expenses such as travel and additional attendant care at meetings).  Please contact Charles Calavan, the executive director of the Public Authority, at 510 577-3548 or ccalavan@ac-pa4ihss.org for more information.

The Coordinated Care Initiative (Duals Managed Care Pilot)

On August 1, 2014, the State announced that the start of enrollement into the CCI managed care pilot in Alameda County was moved to July 2015.  In May 2014, the State announced it has appopinted a caretaker over the Alameda Alliance for Health, which is Alameda County's managed care program. This was done due to major fiscal problems at the Alliance.  The announcment said that services and benefits will not be affected. However, this raises a question about the Alliance's ability to take on 39,000 additional plan members under a pilot program of managed care, the Coordinated Care Iniative (CCI).  This pilot would enroll  Alameda County residents who are "Duals" (eligible for both Medicare and Medi-Cal, which are now fee for service health care plans) into one of two managed care plans. Alameda is one of 8 California counties in the CCI, a three-year pilot. Those who do not want to receive and have their their Medicare services coordinated through the Alameda Alliance for Health or the Anthem Blue Cross managed care plans must “opt-out” by requesting to keep their Medicare services outside the CCI pilot.  However, "Duals" who wish to continue to receive IHSS, MSSP, nursing home care, CBAS (adult day programs, now called Community-Based Adult Services), and other Long Term Support Services (LTSS) must enroll in one of the two managed care plans, which will provide and coordinate those services. The State claims that managed care plans will provide improved care coordination to members and significantly reduce the cost of health care.

Options Under the the Affordable Care Act

Beginning in 2014, the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires individuals to have health insurance or potentially pay a penalty for noncompliance.  Individuals will be required to maintain minimum essential coverage for themselves and their dependents. Some individuals will be exempt from the mandate and the penalty, while others may receive financial assistance to help them pay for the cost of health insurance coverage and the costs associated with using health care services.  For individuals who do not have health coverage, the penalty will start in 2014 at $95 per person or up to 1 percent of income. In 2015, the penalty increases to $325 per person or up to 2 percent of income. For 2016 and after, the penalty goes up to $695 per person or up to 2.5 percent of income.  If you or your family members are uninsured and meet eligibility requirements, you may qualify for affordable health coverage.  Health coverage can be obtained through Medi-Cal for low-income legal residents with incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty line — $15,282 for an individual or $31,322 for a family of four — regardless of whether they have children, disabilities or assets. Uninsured individuals and families are also able to obtain health coverage through Covered California and financial assistance is available on a sliding scale base to help pay for health insurance. Information about options to obtain health coverage is available at: 

·       http://www.coveredca.com/

·        https://www.healthcare.gov/

     

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