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Medicaid can pay you as a family caregiver

When your aging parent has reached a point of needing routine care, the number of options can overwhelm you. Between assisted living facilities and nursing homes, it is easy to feel conflicted over the right decision for your parents. The good news is that Medicaid can make at-home care a more personal experience.

With the help of state Medicaid waivers, relatives can receive the financial support they need when taking care of their loved ones. The right program can help you earn an hourly income for the time you spend assisting your mom or dad.

What are Medicaid waivers?

Generally speaking, Medicaid coverage only includes the cost of nursing home care. A waiver makes it possible to use other options instead, such as an assisted living facility or an in-home assistant. Not only are these solutions less expensive, but they also are more appropriate for some elderly individuals.

Most adult children would prefer to keep their parent in an environment that is familiar and comfortable. If you have decided to take on the responsibility of caring for your parent yourself, a Medicaid waiver may reimburse you for the time you invest.

What programs are available?

Each state manages its own Medicaid waivers. In Colorado, the Elderly, Blind, and Disabled (EBD) program gives eligible participants several benefits that support at-home options. This includes the ability to manage their own care through the Colorado Consumer Directed Attendant Support Services (CDASS).

The CDASS determines a set salary for your parent's chosen caregiver. Responsibilities may include personal care, household tasks or health assistance. Because your mom or dad directs the decision, he or she may choose to designate you as the primary attendant.

To receive assistance through a waiver, you must first see if your parent qualifies for Medicaid coverage. Most people assume you must be in a dire financial situation to be eligible, but the requirements are not as inflexible as many believe.

How much can you earn as a family caregiver?

There is no set salary for caregivers under the CDASS. However, you will more than likely earn less than the average home healthcare provider. The advantage is your ability to be there with your aging parent and give him or her personalized attention that is both comforting and reliable.

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