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Who Can Be a Caregiver Under Medicare?

Uncover if Medicare covers caregiving costs in the US, eligibility criteria, and alternatives for family caregiver compensation.

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One in five American adults provide unpaid family care. While Medicare can help some caregivers get paid, there are specific criteria you must meet to qualify.

Family caregivers help their loved ones live comfortably, complete basic tasks, and maintain their independence, especially after returning home from the hospital. They assist the care receiver, guiding them through their illness or disability. Caring for a loved one can become a part time or full-time job for the family caregiver, which is why many may ask, "Does Medicare pay for caregiving?"

While over 21% of Americans offer some form of unpaid family care, compensation isn’t out of the question to pay family members for the valuable work they provide. This article will explore whether Medicare covers the cost of caregiving. We will also look into who is eligible to work as a caregiver under Medicare.

What Is Medicare?

Medicare is health insurance for Americans age 65 and older.

This coverage is essential. In September 2022, the program enrolled over 65 million people.

People are eligible to register for Medicare three months before they turn 65—or earlier if they have certain health conditions. These conditions include general disabilities, permanent kidney failure, and ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).

Does Medicare Cover Family Caregivers?

Medicare may cover the cost of home care—but there are a number of limitations when it comes to elder care.

Medicare Part A only pays for caregivers working in hospital settings, certified nursing homes, or assisted living facilities. It also includes 100 days of home healthcare following a hospital stay of a certain length.

To receive coverage for in-home care under Medicare Part B, beneficiaries must be considered homebound by their doctor. People who just need a little help with simple tasks are unlikely to qualify.

Those who do qualify can receive in-home coverage for:

  • Occupational, physical therapy, and speech therapy
  • Medical social services
  • Intermittent skilled nursing care
  • Injectable osteoporosis drugs for women
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Medical supplies to be used at home

A home health agency will coordinate the care receiver’s medical services. The agency must be Medicare-certified to do so. This means that Medicare won't cover family caregivers unless they work for a certified agency.

While Medicare won’t pay for family caregivers directly, other self-directed programs make payment easy. State Medicaid programs, for example, are a great alternative for family caregiver compensation.

What Doesn’t Medicare Cover?

Medicare can be challenging to navigate without enough context.

While Medicare Part B may cover the cost of caregiving, it doesn’t cover:

  • 24-hour home care
  • Meal delivery services
  • Shopping and cleaning services unrelated to the beneficiary’s care plan
  • Personal care that only helps the beneficiary with their daily living activities

Healthcare providers may recommend services outside of those covered by Medicare. Ask questions to gain an understanding of what is covered and what you need to pay out of pocket for yourself or your loved one.

How can I get approved for Medicare?

You or someone close to you may be interested in Medicare’s government assistance for family caregivers. Your options will depend on factors such as:

  • The type, frequency, and location of the care provided
  • The beneficiary’s at-home care plan
  • The care receiver’s insurance coverage

To become approved as a caregiver, you need to follow the steps in the Medicare application. First, you must prove that you are qualified to work as a caregiver.

Then, you will need to create a personal care plan with your family member and their medical provider. Establishing a budget (and getting it approved) is the next step. Finally, the care recipient must select their qualified caregiver of choice.

To offer caregiving services, you must be approved. However, you can only provide these services if the person you are caring for wants to hire you.

Aidaly pays you for family caregiving.

Earning money as a family caregiver is possible. Aidaly will help guide you through this process and make sure you have access to the resources you deserve.

Please contact us for details, and check your eligibility for family caregiver compensation today.

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