A Third of Americans Rely on the Unregulated ‘Gray Market’ for Senior Care

Home Health Care News
By Andrew Donlan | June 21, 2021
Nearly a third of Americans who pay for senior care hire workers that aren’t tied to a regulated agency, a new study from RAND Corporation suggests. Instead, these individuals hire or use workers from the “gray market,” or the unregulated market of under-the-table labor.
For professional home-based care agencies, the findings suggest there’s a huge, untapped market for their services, but only if they can tailor costs to middle-income individuals.
Generally, families use the gray market for a variety of reasons, some of which are still unclear. But often, it’s because they don’t qualify for Medicaid and cannot afford private-pay services.
“They don’t really have a good care solution to be able to provide affordable, high-quality care to their loved one,” Regina Shih, the study’s lead author and a senior policy researcher at RAND, told Home Health Care News. “They’re kind of stuck in the middle with no other choice. And the gray market might be filling that need to be able to find affordable, good quality care.”…
The US. is “in a crisis right now,” she explained. Beyond Medicaid, there just isn’t a cost-effective option for people looking to age in place.

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