How Caregivers for Senior Family Members Can Get Medicaid Funding

Did you know you can sell all or a portion of a life insurance policy, even term insurance?

(4 minute read)

When an older family member needs care to get through their day, many families want to provide that care themselves. Not only can this keep the family member in their home where they are comfortable, it can cut down on the medical costs associated with their condition. In fact, family caregivers for older relatives can even get support from Medicaid if they take the right approach. Here’s more you may like to know about caregiver funding under Medicaid and how someone might qualify.

Informal Caregivers and Family Caregivers in America

According to the AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving, 34.2 million Americans have provided care to another adult aged 50 or older in the last 12 months. Around 40% of those, over 15 million people, are caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or other dementia. It’s estimated that all this family caregiving for seniors has an economic value of $470 billion or more!

96% of these people are helping with personal hygiene, dressing and undressing, medications, transportation, and more. 45% take on more critical nursing and medical tasks. You might be surprised to learn 15% take care of a friend or neighbor, not a relative.

Many amazing people take on these tasks because they feel motivated to do so from the heart. Sometimes, it’s also because insurance won’t cover or pay for a professional caregiver. So, what can the informal caregiver expect from Medicaid?

Getting Family and Friends Reimbursed by Medicaid

Every state and the District of Columbia has its own state Medicaid personal assistance program. These are also called regular Medicaid and are one option to get paid to provide care to an elder family member or friend. It is a feature of many of these plans that the insured person can hire, train, and manage the caregiver of their choice. This allows informal caregivers like family to be officially recognized by Medicaid.

It’s important to know each state will have a different name for its Medicaid offering. Overall, if your state has a 1915 (i) plan or a 1915 (j) authority, these types of plans allow some of the most freedom to hire a family member as a caregiver through Medicaid. Some of the programs even help with taxes and other features of getting paid to provide care for an elder family member.

But it’s important to remember, Medicaid eligibility is based on income, not age. If your elderly loved one is 65 or older, they will qualify for Medicare, but these programs are not the same thing.  Since each state has unique income or medical eligibility requirements to qualify for Medicare, it’s unlikely a family caregiver will qualify right out the gate. Additional training, certification, or vetting and investigation by Medicaid may be required. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has resources about how to get started.

How to Apply to be a Medicaid Caregiver for Elder Family

The first step to apply to get funding to take care of an older senior citizen is to make sure they are enrolled in Medicaid. Once you know that individual qualifies for the services that are needed, you can start the application process with your state office. Even if a senior loved one isn’t automatically eligible for Medicaid, you can work with a Medicaid planner to see how they might become eligible. This approach could include “spending down” income or reducing assets to meet the income requirement for Medicaid eligibility.

Getting positioned to be paid by Medicaid as a caregiver or helping a family member or friend get certified so they can help you with less stress, is a great benefit for older Americans in need. However, it’s also not a process that happens overnight. When funds are needed, one answer might be a life settlement. You can sell some or all of an unneeded life insurance policy in a life settlement, even term life insurance. Not only does this get you a greater lump sum than you would get from surrendering the policy, it also means you no longer have to pay the premium on the policy. If you think a life settlement might be a good financial solution for you, visit our calculator to see if you qualify. Contact us today to learn more.

Leo LaGrotte
Life Settlement Advisors
llagrotte@lsa-llc.com
1-888-849-0887

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