How Do You Pay for Respite Care?
In an earlier article, we learned about Respite Care and its purpose. In this article we’ll give you some information on how to go about paying for Respite Care. There are six things you need to know, so let’s look at them now:
- 1. Consider Your Options:
Before you throw in the towel on the idea of respite care, be sure to thoroughly consider all of the choices you have available to you. There are several ways to provide respite care, and some of those ways don’t cost anything. Friends and family members are often willing to step up for free if we just ask them, and hired care providers can either come to your house or you can bring your loved one to a facility.
- 2. Investigate Sources of Respite Care Funding:
Locating the funds necessary to providing respite care isn’t always the easiest thing to do and a bit of preplanning will save you both time and anxiety when the time comes that you need some help. One of the first calls you make should be to 2-1-1 (or you can visit the website at http://www.211.org) where you can find information about local respite care in your area. They’ll also be able to help you figure out when the right time is to apply for certain assistance or what offices you need to contact.
- 3. Familiarize Yourself with State and Federal Elder Care Offices:
If you’re currently caring for an elderly person, a lot of states have an Elder Care Office or an Area Agency on Aging (AAA). Some even have respite care organizations or coalitions that will help you to find sources of funding. For instance, Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) combine both the efforts of the Administration on Aging and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in order to streamline access to respite care and other options.
- 4. Find Out About Funding Programs
A lot of states also give some kind of coverage through Medicaid and a few caregiver support programs have funding available to you. In most cases, these programs are known as Home and Community-based Waivers and offer funding for non-institutional relief, which means that they are in home or community settings. The ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center provides a compilation of state funding information for caregivers. State offices might also run voucher programs that allow you to receive a set amount of money to pay for respite care every quarter of the year. You have to apply at the beginning of each quarter however, and you cannot qualify for some other programs in order to receive funding. Normally it’s on a first-come, first-served basis, so make sure to call with each new quarter.
- 5. Make Phone Calls
You might even be able to make use of multiple funding sources in order to cover respite costs, but it’s going to take a few phone calls to find out what your family member or loved one qualifies for. Even though Medicare doesn’t offer coverage for respite care, it will give coverage as hospice relief. And if the elder has both Alzheimer’s and a financial need, Medicaid could cover part of the cost for respite care and a senior who has Social Security disability benefits might also qualify for some home health care. Some other sources that might be available are veterans’ benefits, long-term care insurance and tax credits. Also, caregivers support groups are great for finding funding too.
- 6. Don’t Give Up
If your request for government funding is denied, you can appeal it, but you have to do so quickly and send it in within a period of 10 days after getting the letter of denial. You could get a different answer with the appeal, but you also might not. No matter what, it couldn’t hurt to try.