Alaska governor moves forward with assisted living rate increase

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The governor of Alaska is moving ahead with a plan to increase in prices at assisted living homes, a report said.

Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy proposed increasing Alaska Pioneer Home rates between 40% and 140% by Sept. 1, The Anchorage Daily News reported Friday.

The Dunleavy administration submitted the proposal to offset the state budget’s $12.3 million cut to funding for the homes, state officials said.

There are currently three levels of service ranging from about $2,500 a month to $6,800 a month depending on the level of care needed. The proposal includes five levels of service ranging from about $3,600 a month to $15,000 a month, officials said.

This new plan is intended to increase revenue, but some residents fear the higher prices will make the homes unaffordable.

“We were ready for an increase but not more than double. More than $13K a month for a double room is wrong,” Amy Jo Meiners said in a post on Twitter.

Proposed rates would affect all six Pioneer Homes locations in Sitka, Anchorage, Palmer, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Fairbanks, the newspaper said.

Need-based financial assistance, including Medicaid coverage, would be available, the Department of Health and Social Services said.

Some lawmakers proposed a bill to set a maximum price increase and if signed into law, it would reverse the increase scheduled to take effect in September, state officials said. The bill passed the House earlier this year, but consideration by the Senate is not expected before it convenes in January.