The state of Pennsylvania is moving forward in its effort to address the growing issue of long term care. Governor Tom Corbett signed an executive order on Friday, officially creating the Pennsylvania Long Term Care Commission.

Long Term Care Commission

Several months after the original proposal of Healthy Pennsylvania, the commission will begin their work. The Healthy Pennsylvania plan was suggested to help curb the financial strain placed on the state Medicaid program and help integrate the long term care system. The plan faced heated opposition, though, mainly from Democrats who viewed it as a gutting of Medicaid. Amidst all the debate, Governor Corbett used his executive power to create the new commission.

Similar to the federal long term care commission, a panel of Pennsylvanians will study the state’s long term care system to identify areas that need improvement or change. The commission will then develop a set of recommendations that will be passed onto the governor for review. The recommendations are due by December.

Shifting to Home Care long term care commission

Corbett expressed his desire for a more home based system that allows people to remain at home and in their communities while receiving care. This is a more affordable approach to long term care than facility care, which is currently the trend within the frames of Medicaid.

The average cost of a private room in a Pennsylvania nursing home is currently $104,390, according to Genworth. When compared to the annual cost of in-home care, which is currently $45,760 in Pennsylvania, it becomes clear why home care is such a better choice for the state.

In a press release announcing the commission, Corbett said, “Pennsylvania has a rapidly growing older adult population and the sixteenth largest population of non-institutionalized persons with disabilities in the nation. It’s critical that we take a closer look at the needs within our system and identify ways to make it more effective and efficient to meet those needs, not just now, but for years to come.”

Commission Members

Members of the commission have already been appointed. The Secretary of Public Welfare Beverly Mackereth and Secretary of Aging Brian Duke will serve as co-chairs and another 25 members make up the full commission. The 25 members include long term care consumers, their family members, representatives of long term care providers, members of the medical community, representatives from the Area Agencies on Aging, and state legislators.

To read more about the original Healthy Pennsylvania plan, click here. View the full press release from the Corbett administration and read the entire list of commission members here.

If you are interested in learning more about how best to plan for long term care, read our information on who needs long term care and why long term care insurance may be the best choice for you. If you’d like a personalized quote, fill out this form and we will be in touch soon.