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I had to quit my job and move in with my parents to be a full-time caregiver. My 86 year-old mom is in renal failure and has advanced dementia and my 89 year-old dad couldn't take care of her alone. We agreed to keep her at home as long as possible.


So I have no income and no health insurance. I live in Illinois and could buy health insurance on the Marketplace for full-price at $470 per month. Which I can't afford with no income. I got an application for Medicaid, but since I'm living with my parents, they want information on my parents' assets which I'm not comfortable providing. I don't need SNAP or any cash assistance, I just need some basic health insurance so I can go to the doctor if needed. Does anyone know specifically about Illinois health insurance - if I would be eligible for Medicaid since I have no income? I do have some savings, but do I have to be completely broke before I can get Medicaid? I don't want to deplete all my savings. Thanks for any info.

@ Isthisreallyreal is right, If your parents have the ability they should be paying you and that would cover your medical insurance. If nothing else they could foot the bill for the insurance. On the other hand, if they're barely getting by financially, that may not be an option. There's no way to get around the provision of information on household assets and income when applying for government assistance. It's their job to make sure that there is a legitimate need before they provide medical insurance. I'm hearing from more and more people who are in similar situations while at the same time seeing states making it harder and harder to qualify. I think it would be cheaper for the states to provide care-givers with free insurance than it will be to house all the seniors that no family members will be able to care for while working but the government seldom makes sense. In my case my work related health insurance will lapse the end of September and cobra would be nearly $950 a month. The marketplace seems to be basing coverage prices on previous years income so it would be nearly $800 a month. Not working at all and caring for pops full time will not be an option for me. Thankfully I have enough put back and enough help where I can figure out a compromise partial work solution. If not I would have to put pop in a full time carehome.
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Reply to faeriefiles
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I agree. If your caring for Mom, Dad should pay for your insurance. Cheaper than paying for an aide.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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AnnMarie, when I had left my job, the company I worked for offered what is called COBRA which allowed me to keep my health insurance for 18 months. I can't remember if I got it free or if I was paying a limited amount which was affordable. Check with your former employer. I resigned because my boss was not user friendly when it came time for me to take hours off to help my parents. I did find other employment within minutes of my parent's house, and the boss was so very understanding.

It is always a difficult choice when it comes to helping an elderly parent. Quitting work as you are finding out is expensive, as besides your salary and your health insurance, you also have lost paid sick days, paid vacation days, and if your company had offered matching 401(k), life insurance, stock options, and profit sharing. Not to mention no more funds going into Social Security and into Medicare. Do your parents realize the lost you are taking?

Some States are now asking those who are able bodied to go to work outside of the home in order to get Medicaid. I don't know if Illinois is one of those States, or if this is still on the drawing board. If your parents have limited funds, maybe they could apply for Medicaid, and in some States you could be paid to be their caregiver. Please note the pay could be minimum wage, plus taxes are taken out. Each State is different. But worth looking into.

I know your Dad must be so glad to have you by his side to help. The poor guy must be so exhausted, and depressed. This isn't the retirement he had planned. Eventually it will take a village to take care of Mom. It may be best for Mom to move to Memory Care sooner than later, while she can still find her way around the facility, learn the faces of the Staff, etc. Depending on the cost, your Dad could also move into the building but may not be in the same room. He can have his meals with your Mom, and see her all day.
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Reply to freqflyer
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worriedinCali May 11, 2019
With cobra, you have to pay, it’s never going to pay. Cobra allows to to keep your insurance if you pay for it.
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Your parents should be paying you as a caregiver with a contract.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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