Imagine being able to draw upon a family care insurance fund to pay for childcare so you can go back to work and save for your children’s college and your own retirement. If your mom suffers a stroke, you can draw on the fund to take a work leave and help her recover. Later down the road if she needs ongoing care, you can tap the insurance again, this time to pay for a qualified caregiver so your mom can stay at home and avoid being moved into a nursing home.
A well designed Universal Family Care program would streamline the range of care that nearly all of us will need over the course of our lives: childcare, long-term care and paid family medical leave.
The time, work and costs associated with caring for our loved ones are too much for working families to bear alone. Childcare costs, on average, $11,000 per child per year, and a nursing home can cost $80,000 per year – which Medicare does not even account for! On top of this, juggling work and trying to find the right care or take time off can be downright impossible.
As millennials have kids and Baby Boomers live longer, we need to create a new, integrated, flexible way of caring that reflects the financial and cultural realities of 21st century families. Our families deserve the care we need to live full and healthy lives, whether we’re caring for an infant or child, a loved one with a disability or an aging parent.
Two cornerstones of Universal Family Care are Paid Medical & Family Leave and Universal Long-Term Care. Both are important ways of lowering the barriers that make it difficult for us to be there for our loved ones, no matter what. But when you integrate them with each other, they offer powerful, flexible ways we can meet the care needs of 21st century families. Together with Family Values @ Work, we created this guide that lays out how this could work.
Working with our partners at Maine People’s Alliance, we’re setting our sights on passing the first Universal Family Care program in the nation’s oldest state. Download our policy report and learn more about our campaign.
To lay the groundwork for Universal Family Care in Michigan, we’re working with our partners at Michigan United to pass a study bill assessing the state’s care needs.