State Capitol, March 6, 2019 — Family caregivers could get a $1500 tax credit on incomes up to $75,000 under a bill offered by Rep Marcus Evans (D), who noted he developed cancer at the age of 21 and was cared for by his family at home, when he was unable to work or provide by himself. The legislation, HB-2974, is also sponsored by Rep Anna Moeller (D).

The legislation provides that a taxpayer who is a family caregiver is eligible to receive a nonrefundable income tax credit in an amount equal to 100% of the eligible expenditures incurred by the taxpayer during the taxable year related to the care of an eligible family member, but not exceed $1,500 for the same eligible family member.

AARP also said reforms are needed because the cost of nursing home care is both too expensive and staff are often assigned too many patients per caregiver. One young lady, who works at a nursing home taking care of Alzheimer patients, was assigned to care for 15 individuals.

AARP says that in a survey some 62% of caregivers say they spend money out of their own pockets to provide for sick family members — for transportation, medicine, the time away from work to take patients to a doctor’s appointment.

According to AARP those who care for family members at home, provide the equivalent of $18 Billion in service, when compared to the cost of housing individuals in a nursing home.

Aside from the costs, AARP argued the quality of care is much better for patients when care is given at home. They cited the statistics showing Illinois is the most under-staffed nursing homes in the nation. They noted cases of infection of patients overlooked, developing sepsis.

Those infections then result in patients being sent to hospitals, causing over $4 million in additional cost on the Medicare or Medicaid systems.