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Michigan direct care workers providing Medicaid-funded in-home behavioral health and long-term services during the COVID-19 pandemic are slated to receive a temporary $2-an-hour raise, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday.

The hike follows her recent executive order streamlining health care reporting to better pinpoint where outbreaks are happening in long-term care facilities.

“It has never been more important to care for our most vulnerable residents, and these direct care health workers are risking their lives every day to make sure we continue to flatten the curve,” Whitmer said. “It is our duty as Michiganders to ensure these front-line heroes have the financial support they need to continue doing their critical work while caring for themselves and their families.”

The program will apply to services provided to children and adults between April and June, state officials said in a statement.

“Direct care workers are on the front lines and are risking their health in service of our loved ones when they need care the most,” said state Rep. Jon Hoadley, D-Kalamazoo. "Too often, these workers are overlooked and under paid. This pay raise is well-deserved and an important step toward recognizing the invaluable service they perform. I applaud Governor Whitmer’s leadership as we advance a care agenda for our state."

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