In general, Idaho doesn’t have enacted legislation that offers payment to family members caring for their senior loved ones. Despite the lack of dedicated compensation options, a few workarounds could make a caregiver eligible for payments if they’re willing to take the appropriate steps. Since the average cost of home care in Idaho is $5,434 per month, according to Genworth’s 2021 Cost of Care survey, a family member may find it worthwhile to take a path that allows them to provide the necessary care.

Using Medicaid for Payments

Seniors currently covered by Medicaid have home care options available to them through the program. If a family member really wanted to handle their loved one’s care needs but needed financial compensation to allow this, the most direct solution is to work for one of the Medicaid-approved home health agencies. As an employee, the family member is eligible to claim payments for the time they spend caring for their loved one. Payments from Medicaid would most likely go directly to the agency while the family member collects a paycheck for their time and services.

If a family member intends to have a loved one live at the family member’s home, it may be possible to have the house approved as a Certified Family Home. This designation allows the family member to collect payments from Medicaid through the allowance of Home and Community Based Services. Getting approval requires becoming a care provider and then having the home certified through the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

Non-Medicaid Options

If a family member is unable or unwilling to train to become a Medicaid-covered caregiver or doesn’t wish to certify their home, the next best thing is receiving direct payments from their loved one. If the senior loved one has the means to pay for in-home care, establishing an agreement that clearly outlines the assigned duties and compensation expectations is a great way for a family member to be employed as the loved one’s caregiver.

As a side bonus, this arrangement may also save your loved one a significant amount of money. For this option to work, there should be clear boundaries on both sides and regular paychecks to cover the costs and labor for that week. For some, this may be the best way to prevent the need for an unknown professional to come to the home from a paid home care agency.