Does Medicare compensate family caregivers?

1 answer | Last updated: Mar 11, 2015
Patricio asked...

Does Medicare compensate family caregivers?

Expert Answers

No, Medicare doesn't pay anything to a family caregiver. But if an elder has a low income and few assets, he might qualify for Medicaid. If so, a program run by Medicaid in his state might be able to pay him directly to pay for his home care, which he could then use to pay a family member to take care of him. In some states, this kind of cash assistance is possible even for people who have slightly too much income or assets to qualify for Medicaid.  

These cash payments work through a state program called Cash and Counseling, or a similar program. Normally, Medicaid pays for regular home care and provides it through a certified home care agency. But this special program directly pays the person in need of care the same amount Medicaid would pay an aide from a home care agency. The person needing care can spend these funds on anyone he chooses to take care of him. He can also use some of the money to make home improvements for safety or comfort, or to buy personal care items. However, not all states have this Cash and Counseling or similar program.

To learn more about these cash assistance programs, go to the page on this site called How to Get Paid for Being Your Parent's Caregiver. You can help a loved one apply for Medicaid -- and for Cash and Counseling or a similar state cash assistance program, if your state has one -- at a local Medicaid office. To find the local Medicaid office near you, contact the Eldercare Locator by phone toll-free at 800-677-1116, or online you can go to any search engine and type in the word Medicaid and the name of your state.