Homemaker Companion Agency (HCA) Registration
Homemaker-companion agencies must be registered with the Department of Consumer Protection before engaging in business in Connecticut.
Homemaker Companion Services include:
- Assisting with non-medical services such as cooking, laundry, light cleaning, organizing, grocery shopping, personal hygiene, going for walks, playing cards, conversing, watching television, and going to a movie.
Homemaker Companion Services does not include:
- Any medical services.
- Directing physical therapy or creating special diets.
- Administering medications or shots.
- Any nursing services like assessing blood pressure or providing wound care.
- You must determine whether you want to register as an individual (sole proprietorship) or a legal entity (LLC, corporation) prior to applying.
- Legal entities (both in-state and out-of-state) must register their business with the CT Secretary of State’s Office prior to applying.
- NOTE: The legal entity name you choose should not include prohibited words or terms such as “nurse”, “nursing”, “healthcare” or, “health” and “care” in conjunction to avoid misleading prospective clients as to the services being offered.
- A legal entity using a prohibited word in their name may keep it provided they obtain a tradename certificate (DBA) from the municipality where they are located. The tradename certificate must bear a name that is in compliance with the naming rules.
- One registration for the agency covers all locations where services are offered.
- An agency must maintain a surety bond or insurance of not less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) coverage. This is the minimum coverage amount required and agencies can obtain a higher amount if they choose.
All registrations expire annually on October 31st. The annual renewal fee is $375.00. Renewal Information
2023 Legislative Changes - New
Agencies Subject to Registration
A homemaker-companion agency is defined as:
"...any public or private organization, employing one or more persons that is engaged in the business of providing companion services or homemaker services. Homemaker-companion agency shall not include a home health care agency, as defined in subsection (d) of section 19a-490 of the general statutes, or a homemaker-home health aide agency, as defined in subsection (e) of section 19a-490 of the general statutes."
An “employee” of an HCA includes, but is not limited to, temporary employees, pool employees and independent contractors.
What Services can a Homemaker-Companion Agency Provide?
Homemaker-companion agencies can only provide non-medical companionship and assistance. These non-medical companion services include assisting with cooking, laundry, light cleaning, organizing, grocery shopping, personal hygiene, going for walks, playing cards, conversing, watching television, and going to a movie.
Agencies that are licensed by the Department of Public Health may be required to provide homemaker-companion services under a separate entity. For example, any home health care agency or home health aide agency performing non-medical homemaker-companion services should form a separate entity and register that entity as an HCA.
Surety Bond Requirement
Pursuant to Public Act 17-77 Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-672 (a)(3) has been amended and now requires an HCA to certify to DCP that “such agency maintains a surety bond of not less than ten thousand dollars coverage, which coverage shall include theft by an employee of such agency from a person for whom homemaker or companion services are provided by the agency, …”
Note that this is a minimum requirement to hold a credential with DCP. HCAs should consult with their insurer to discuss specific insurance needs.
Employee Hiring Policies
Before hiring a new employee who will provide homemaker companion services, the HCA must perform a comprehensive background check on the prospective employee.
"Comprehensive background check" means a rigorous background investigation of a prospective employee performed by an HCA including, but not limited to, a review of application materials, an interview, verification of social security number, identity and citizenship, and a criminal history check including a search of public sex offender database.
The HCA must maintain background check records for each employee, and make them available to DCP upon request. See Public Act 21-37, Section 38, for all of the specific requirements pertaining to hiring employees. The background check and form signed by each employee must be maintained for each for inspection by DCP. The certification must read:
"I certify that the statements made by me on this application are true and complete to the best of my knowledge and are made in good faith. I understand that if I knowingly make any misstatements of fact, I am subject to disqualification, dismissal, or other action pursuant to employment agency policy and procedure, and subject to criminal penalties as prescribed by law." (See Regulation Section 20-670-2(a))
Client Service Agreements
A written contract or service plan must be provided by the agency to the client and signed by both the HCA and client. The contract or service plan must:
- List the anticipated services to be provided, the term and cost of services, explain the employee, provider and client employment relationship, provide safeguards for securing personal client information, list provider job categories such as “live-in” or “daily call,” and list job duties;
- Contain the agency policy for accepting gratuities and gifts by the agency’s employees and contractors on behalf of the client; and
- Contain a process for filing a complaint.
Client Contact, Supervision, and Records
The homemaker-companion agency must:
- Provide the client with a contact phone number and address for the agency;
- Provide an authorized representative to discuss services; and
- Keep substantive notes with each client’s file, including observations, problems, complaints, plans of action, telephone contacts, reports of in-home visits by supervisors, and the findings of all investigations.
(See Regulation Section 20-670-4)
Written Notice Requirement for Registries
An HCA that acts as a registry must provide written notice to consumers within four days of supplying, referring or placing a homemaker companion with a consumer. This is required before providing services to the consumer unless there is an emergency and a waiver is signed. (See C.G.S. 20-679a)
DCP approved EMERGENCY WAIVER OF HOMEMAKERCOMPANION LEGAL NOTICE
Covenant not to Compete
Any covenant not to compete is against public policy and shall be void and unenforceable. This means that any contract or agreement that restricts the right of an individual to provide homemaker, companion or home health services (1) in any geographic area of the state for any period of time, or (2) to a specific individual is prohibited. (See C.G.S. 20-681)