January 9th, 2019 | BY: Allegra Chaney

Caregiver Insurance: What Insurance Do You Need as a Family Caregiver?

Dear Allegra,

I am preparing to give up my full-time job as a medical assistant in a physician’s office to care for my grandfather. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease 3 years ago.

We currently have caregivers employed by an agency in and out of his house in addition to the support my mom provides. However, my grandfather’s disease has reached the point where he needs someone with him around-the-clock. Since I’m one of the few people he seems to remember, I’m happy to help care for him.

My parents manage his finances and will be paying me a monthly stipend to act as his full-time caregiver. One issue we haven’t discussed yet is caregiver health insurance. I know I can continue my current health insurance coverage for a short period of time, but it would be very expensive.

Is there an organization that sells independent caregiver insurance? How do self-employed caregivers find insurance coverage?

Respectfully,

Alyssa

Insurance Considerations for Caregivers

Dear Alyssa,

It sounds like your grandfather is lucky to have so many family members dedicated to his well-being. That can make a big difference for an older adult who has memory loss.

As for health insurance coverage for caregivers, those who work for a home care agency typically participate in the company’s insurance plan.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), however, independent caregivers have access to individual health insurance plans. It can provide quality, temporary caregiver insurance or a long-term solution. This makes it easier for family members to care for a loved one at home.

ACA plans vary in price and services. They are grouped into 3 broad categories: bronze, silver, and gold. Depending on how much your monthly stipend will be and what state you reside in, you might qualify for federal assistance to pay for your health insurance.

The traditional enrollment period for coverage through ACA is November 1st –December 15th, but you might qualify for a special enrollment period due to your change in employment.

You and your parents might also want to consider meeting with an ACA specialist in your area. These local advisers are available to help you learn more about your options and find an insurance plan that best meets your needs.

I hope this information is helpful, Alyssa. If you have questions about family caregiving, please don’t hesitate to contact me again. I wish you the best of luck taking care of your grandfather.

Kind regards,

Allegra