How Do Family Caregivers Get Paid by Medicaid?

April Sluder
Reviewed by
Max Mayblum
,
Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Learn about medicaid programs to pay family caregivers.
Published
August 9, 2022
Last updated
7
min read
Finance

How Do Family Caregivers Get Paid by Medicaid?

April Sluder
Reviewed by
Max Mayblum
,
Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Learn about medicaid programs to pay family caregivers.
Published
August 9, 2022
Last updated
7
min read
Finance
How Do Family Caregivers Get Paid by Medicaid?

You love your parent. You want to give them a fulfilling and happy life, but they can’t do it alone. Helping your loved one takes significant sacrifice from you. The emotional, physical, and financial toll can cause stress and anxiety. In many cases, caring for your loved one can become a full-time job. Government assistance for family caregivers provides you with the financial support you need to be there for your parent. How do you get Medicaid Caregiver Pay?

Does Medicaid Pay Family Caregivers?

Is your parent under Medicaid? You might be eligible for benefits. Each state differs. Self-Directed Medicaid Services programs give your parent the option to manage their finances. This can include paying for family caregivers. To find out if your parent is eligible for this program, speak with your parent’s local Medicaid office. The Self-Directed Medicaid Servies program gives your parent significant freedom in paying for services and goods.

Look into the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). The HCBS program allows Medicaid beneficiaries to opt for local help, like a family caregiver, instead of being in isolated nursing facilities. The HCBS program primarily aids individuals with mental illness, physical disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and significant physical disabilities. The goal is to provide your parent with caring support at home instead of in an impersonal institution. Family caregivers may also receive other types of support like training and individualized guidance.

Community First Choice (CFC) option (known as the 1915 state plan) gives beneficiaries the option to pay family caregivers from their budget. Your parent will work with a fiscal intermediary to manage taxes and hiring. This is ideal for patients who can self-direct their care.

Unfortunately, not every family caregiver is eligible for benefits. If your parent is not under Medicaid, you might not qualify. Some states may limit services and support based on your parent's disability level. In any case, seek out financial and emotional support and assistance.

Twenty percent of all family caregivers express extreme stress due to the financial burdens of caregiving. You may have to leave work or give up your job entirely. Your parent might have needs not covered by Medicaid. You might need respite care if you plan on traveling out of town or become ill yourself. Take the time to contact your local area agency on aging to find out if you are eligible for government assistance for caregivers.

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Sample State Requirements for Medicare Caregiver Pay:

Ohio

Individuals must apply for the 1915c Ohio Individual Options Waiver. The waiver allows beneficiaries to spend their benefits on caregiving. The individual must meet financial and developmental disability requirements. Those interested can start by contacting your parent's local Ohio County Board of Development Disabilities.

Florida

Florida offers several qualifying services for family caregiver benefits. However, there might be waiting lists. Each program differs substantially and reviews everything from income and marital status to veteran status and income. Florida Medicaid will provide a Statewide Medicaid Managed Care Long-Term Program. Caregivers receive about $9-13 per hour under the self-directed program. They must submit a background check and be eligible to work in the US.

New York

New York's Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program gives the elderly options to pay family members for caregiving. Your parent must be on Medicaid, require daily assistance, and be able to self-direct the family caregiver for their needs. New York Medicare can reduce costs for medication and supplies. The homecare aid rate in New York is currently $23 per hour. Additionally, New York offers paid leave benefits for state employees. They can take up to twelve weeks to care for an elderly relative.

Applying for Benefits

As mentioned before, each Medicaid program differs per state. The qualifications are based on factors like disability level, veteran status, and pay rates locally. If you are unsure where to start, contact your local agency on aging. They will direct you to the right program and offer invaluable services.

  • Review eligibility requirements of the state program
  • If your parent is not eligible, partner with a professional Medicaid planner to help with paperwork and eligibility
  • If your parent is eligible, contact your state Medicaid office
  • Start the application
  • Work with your Medicaid planner through the process.
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Other Programs

Besides Medicare and Medicaid programs, there are several programs available to pay family caregivers. Some are based on disability or disease, veteran status, or other factors.

PROGRAM

DESCRIPTION

Cancer Care

Oncology social workers help cancer patients find financial assistance for everyday cancer-related costs like transportation.

VA

Veterans with disabilities from active duty may be eligible for benefits for family caregivers.

Medigap

Some states, like New York, allow beneficiaries to pay family or friends to be daily caregivers. Purchase Medigap from private insurance if you need more than what is covered by Original Medicare. Medigap requires higher premiums.

Extra Help

Extra Help offers discounts for prescriptions.

Family Care Agreement

A family care agreement is a binding legal document between your parent and yourself (and other family caregivers) regarding payment for caregiving.

Summary

Many programs provide some financial assistance for your parent. Self-Directed benefits allow your parent to allocate funds for services like family caregiving. Each state has its specific requirement. Contact the local agency of aging to speak to a social worker about your parent's specific case. Other programs like the VA or Cancer Care offer some support and financial aid to individuals who meet specific criteria. Find the support and financial assistance you need to care for your loved one.

If you have had trouble in the past or want help in the future accessing Medicaid caregiver benefits, Givers can help you streamline the entire process.

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April Sluder

April Sluder

April is a Licensed Social Worker and Caregiving Coach and Community Manager at Givers. April has over two decades of experience supporting patients and their family caregivers from her time in healthcare, most recently doing medicare & medicaid member outreach at Humana, and building and managing her own condition-specific Facebook group of 1600+ women.

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