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Florida Medicare for Family Caregivers - What You Need to Know

Learn the differences between Medicare vs. Medicaid and how family caregivers get paid.

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For older adults living in Florida, Medicaid and Medicare can both help them cover their healthcare costs. If you're considering becoming a family caregiver for an older relative, you're probably wondering, "Does Medicare cover family caregivers?" The answer depends, so before becoming a family caregiver and looking for coverage to pay for caregiving tasks for an elderly loved one, you need to understand these differences.

Medicare vs Medicaid: Understanding the Differences

To understand how to get coverage to pay for family caregivers, you must first understand the difference between these two programs.

  • Medicare: Medicare is a federal program that provides health insurance to seniors and disabled individuals. It is available to all people aged 65 and older, regardless of income, as long as they worked and contributed to the program.
  • Medicaid: Medicaid is needs-based, which means it’s based on income and health levels and pays for things Medicare doesn’t, including long-term living care. This program is jointly funded by the federal government and Florida’s state government, and it is administered through the state.

Does Medicare Cover Family Caregivers in Florida?

In most cases, Florida Medicare does not pay for family caregivers. However, there are exceptions to this. A home caregiver can get paid through Medicare if they deliver qualified home health benefits, including:

  • Medical social services
  • Speech-language therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Skilled nursing caregiving

If the person licensed to offer these services also happens to be a family member, then they can get paid through Medicare. However, these must be medically necessary and temporary, as Medicare does not pay for long-term care. The only way to use Medicare for family caregivers is if you have the proper license to deliver the necessary short-term care service.

Does Medicaid Cover Family Caregivers in Florida?

Florida Medicaid has multiple programs that offer money that seniors can use to pay for a family caregiver. These include:

  • Florida Statewide Medicaid Managed Long-Term Care Program (SMMC LTC): Under this program, seniors receive money to pay for their care, and they can use the Participant Directed Option to choose their caregiver. This is the easiest way to get payment from Florida Medicaid for family caregivers.
  • Home Care for the Elderly (HCE): This program doesn’t pay a caregiver for their time, but it does pay for care items and medical equipment. It can also pay for adult day care when family caregivers need a break.
  • Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE): PACE pays for home caregivers for those who are at risk of going to a nursing home. The caregiver needs to be a health care professional, but in theory, could be a family member.

If you’re considering becoming a family caregiver for your loved one on Medicaid, Aidaly can check your eligibility and provide training and compensation for the valuable work you do in the home.

Learn more about Aidaly in Miami here, or contact us at (786) 321-8876.

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