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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

Restoration of 7% Cut in IHSS Hours

At the budget hearings in Sacramento during March and April 2015, the Assembly and Senate subcommittees recommended:

1)  effective July 1, 2015 restoring the 7% cut in IHSS hours that has been in effect for three years. An issue remaining is whether the funding will be linked to something (additional Federal funds or revenue from a Managed Care Organization tax). 

2) an increase in the amount of the monthly SSI/SSP grants, to make up at least somewhat for the State's decision to not increase the grant over recent years by not passing thru annual Federal Cost of Living increases. It is calculated that as costs have risen and SSI/SSP has failed to keep up, SSI/SSP recipients in California can purchase only 68% of what they could in 1989.

3) going ahead with the FLSA Overtime Pay plan, possibly with some changes to allow exceptions to groups that moght be hurt by the new rules, such as families with several children.    

The State has announced that the increase in tax revenuers this year requires more State funding for Education, which could reduce funding planned for social services.

Job Opening for Executive Director of the Public Authority

Charles Calavan, who has been the Executive Director of the Public Authority since September 2001, is retiring in June 2015.  The search for his successor is underway. Click here for the job posting.  The job posting is also at:  Craigs List at:   http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/npo/4954108476.html

The following is the link to email the serach firm: ExDirPAJob@triuneinfomatics.com. 

The posting closes April 24, 2015. 

It is hoped the new Executive Director will be on board before the end of June 2015. 

TRIUNE INFOMATICS, INC. has been selected as the Executive Search Firm to recruit executive director candidates. Applications and inquiries are to be sent to them at:  ExecDirPAJOB@Triuneinfomatics.com

Spring 2015 Public Authority Newsletter

Click on the link at the end of this story to read our latest newsletter.  It has articles from Advisory Board members on being an advocate and information about expanded Public Authority services and our free trainings. A copy of the newsletter was mailed in early March to all IHSS consumers and providers who have the same mailing address and to those providers who have a different mailing address. NEW SPRING 2015 NEWSLETTER

STATE NOT IMPLEMENTING IHSS CHANGES that were to be effective January 2015

On January 14, 2015, the State of California announced that the new IHSS rules and the Overtime and Travel Pay and workweek limits of 61 or 66 hours will NOT BE IMPLEMENTED, since they had been blocked by the court in Washington, D.C. These changes were scheduled to be implemented January 1, 2015. The court ruled that the right to overtime and travel pay could not be given to homecare workers through a rule change in the Fair Labor Standards Act since the language in the actual law exempting homecare workers from overtime pay took precedence. An appeal court is re-considering this decision and it could go to the US Supreme Court within the next 18 months. Meanwhile some advocates and the unions are pushing for the State to go ahead and pay overtime even though it not required by Federal rules or law.

The newly developed IHSS Timesheet will be used, but with new instructions and filled out using the old rules (hours and minutes of service provided during the pay period from the 1st to the 15th and the second pay period from the 16th to the end of the month). The new timesheets are not to be folded and must be returned in the envelope received with them. Checks and timesheets will be mailed in separate envelopes, and possibly received a few days apart.

The New Bargaining Agreement with SEIU ULTCW

In July 2014, a new contract was agreed upon between the Public Authority and Alameda County and SEIU ULTCW.  It includes a wage increase to $12.50, that began November 1, 2014. This was the highest IHSS wage in any county in CA for a few months.  

Beause the CCI (Managed Care Pilot) is not going forward in Alameda County, the Public Authority will continue to be the employer of record for bargaining with the union representing the IHSS workforce in Alameda County. The responsibility for bargaining wages and benefits in Alameda County will NOT shift to a Statewide Authority in Sacramento as was planned.  The Public Authority will continue to provide the services we do now: such as the Registry, training and administering health benefits for IHSS providers.

Want to Improve IHSS? Joint the Public Authority Advisory Board.

WE HAVE OPENINGS ON OUR ADVISORY BOARD FOR FOUR PAST OR CURRENT IHSS RECIPIENTS IN ALAMEDA COUNTY AND AN ADVOCATE FOR SENIORS.  CALL 510 577-3548 FOR INFORMATION OR TO REQUEST AN APPLICATION.  APPLY NOW

We will be interviewing applicants in September 2015 to fill two openings for Consumers 60 years or older, two Consumer Alternate positions of any age, and one position for an Advocate for Seniors. 

Our Advisory Board is mandated to engage in advocacy locally and with the State and to make recommendations to improve the IHSS program and Public Authoriuty services in Alameda County.  Our 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 or an application.

The Coordinated Care Initiative (Duals Managed Care Pilot) is NOT Happening in Alameda County

In the Fall of 2014, the State announced that Alameda County would NOT be part of the CCI Managed Care Pilot which was scheduled to start enrollng "Duals" in July 2015. In May 2014, the State had announced it has appointed 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 AAH services and benefits will not be affected. However, this raised 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 have enrolled 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 was to be one of 8 California counties in the CCI, a three-year pilot. Those who did 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 were to  “opt-out” by requesting to keep their Medicare services outside the CCI pilot.  However, "Duals" who wished 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) had to enroll in one of the two managed care plans, which will provide and coordinate those services. The State claimed that managed care plans will provide improved care coordination to members and significantly reduce the cost of health care but in January 2015, reports are showing now real savings aand CCI could be canceled.

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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