CSAC Bulletin Article

IHSS Cost Shift: More Costly to Counties

January 26, ,2017

Some new analysis of the Governor’s plan to shift costs for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) back to Counties shows the impact is larger and grows faster than originally thought. Counties stand to lose $625 million in the first fiscal year, and the total cumulative cost is more than $7 billion by the 2022-23 fiscal year. Tables showing the increased costs are available at this link.

The state, hoping to reduce costs by coordinating IHSS with other health care services, took over more financial responsibility for IHSS in 2012. In doing so, it capped the amount Counties would have to pay. In the ensuing years, costs for the program have ballooned due to increases in the minimum wage, paid sick leave, and overtime pay for IHSS workers. The Governor is now proposing to shift all of these costs back to counties, but the dollar amounts of the cost shift would be devastating to counties both large and small.

For example, Los Angeles pegs their raw cost increase at $220 million and Yolo County pegs theirs at $4 million. That’s a lot for a county of any size to manage, and will have negative consequences for funding in other areas, like public safety, local streets and roads, health and mental health. Because IHSS is a federally mandated program and 1991 Realignment revenues are not projected to keep up, counties would have little choice but to make cuts to other programs to cover the cost shift.

CSAC continues to meet with our members and other stakeholders to discuss the local impacts of the cost shift.

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