Spotlight Profession: Home Health Aides

On September 17, the Obama administration announced that they would be extending coverage of minimum wage and overtime protection to home health aides across the country. These new rules are slated to go into effective on January 1, 2015. If you are interested in becoming a home health aide, or are currently working as one, here are a few things about the new legislation that you'll want to know.

 

Minimum Wage and Overtime Protection
After years of being wrongly classified as a “companion service,” the new rule will now qualify home health aide workers to be covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act. According to BLS.gov, the annual income of home health aides in 2010 was $20,560. The new rule will allow for home health aides to be compensated for overtime work, which was once not a requirement.

Why the Delay?
In order for those participants in Medicaid & Medicare to adjust to the added cost of service, the new rule won’t go into effect until 2015. Under the new rule, if an aide is providing care that exceeds 20% of the total hours worked each week, then the worker is to receive minimum wage and overtime protections.

Employment Opportunities
With the population of baby boomers steadily increasing the need for home health care, home health aide employment opportunities are slated to increase by 69% from 2010 to 2020. This will add more than one million jobs over the next decade. If you are looking for current opportunities near you, click here.

To find out if you will be covered by the new Fair Labor Standards Act, check out this website: www.dol.gov/whd/homecare/.

Voice Your View: Do these new rules for home health aides make the profession more appealing? Share your comments below.