Hi Everyone,

I am fulltime caretaker for my 87 year old mum who is in the early stages of dementia. I moved into her home to take care of her after my father died at age 88.

Since I am taking care of her fulltime and not working can I get Medicaid for myself? I am 53 and I need medical coverage but health insurance is too expensive to afford on my own especially since I can't work due to taking care of my mom.

Any advice?

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I did an internet search "Ohio Caregiver compensation" and found this information:

Ohio’s Medicaid PASSPORT (Pre-Admission Screening System Providing Options & Resources Today) Waiver is a Medicaid-funded program offering similar services, although the cost of in-home services provided must not exceed 60% of the cost of the same care if it were provided in a nursing home setting. Family members are eligible to be hired to provide caregiving services through PASSPORT, with the exception of spouses, for non-skilled care at the Medicaid standard rate of $10 to $14 per hour. Managed on a local level by the Area Agencies on Aging, PASSPORT is administered by the Ohio Department of Aging.

Note that dual Medicare/Medicaid-eligible residents are unable to receive services through PASSPORT; however, those who live in a county with the Integrated Care Delivery System (ICDS) can receive the same services through MyCare Ohio, which is Ohio’s mandatory managed care program. This program is called the MyCare Ohio Plan (MCOP), or Managed Medicaid Program for Elder Care.

How to obtain financial assistance for caregivers in Ohio:
Contact the Council on Aging by calling 800-252-0155 or 513-721-1025 for an initial screening for the ESP program if you reside in one of the four counties in which the program is offered and are not Medicaid-eligible.

To apply for PASSPORT, contact your local Area Agency on Aging. You may also call 1-866-243-5678.

Call the Ohio Medicaid Consumer Hotline at 1-800-324-8680 or enroll online here for MyCare Ohio. Find out what plans are available in your local area here.

I am sorry that you can not afford health insurance.  I had the same problem.  Luckily my Mom refused to let me be without health insurance & she was able to pay for my health insurance from her farm income without adversely affecting her monthly retirement income.

The problem with the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance is that you have to be receiving a paycheck in order to qualify.  Once you have an income of $12,000/year, then you qualify for the ACA Marketplace Health Insurance and will be able to purchase health insurance for less than $100/month.

Another thing to consider:
In the future, when your Mum moves into a Memory Care Unit/facility or a nursing home; because you live in HER house, you can only stay in that house IF you pay for all utilities, property taxes, and upkeep of the property.  If you are unable to do so, then you will have to move out of your Mum's house.  (Something to plan for in the future especially since your Mum has dementia.)

I hope that the information that I gave you will be helpful.
Helpful Answer (1)

buckeyechick, Medicaid varies from State to State. Programs available in one State may not be available in your State, and vise versa.

As for being paid, again that also varies from State to State. Some States the caregiver cannot be living full-time under the same roof as the one they are caring. Some States will pay the minimum wage that their State law allows. Some State will pay only a few hours per week. The reason for this is that it is less expensive for the State to have the love one live in a nursing home. Remember, Medicaid is funded by the taxpayers.
Helpful Answer (1)
buckeyechick May 2019
I am surprised that it is less expensive to have the loved one live in a nursing home at $ 7K+ a month. It seems like having a loved one with a family care taker is still cheaper... especially if the elderly person owns the home.
One complication may be if your state has work requirements in order to qualify for Medicaid. From the 'buckeye' in your screen name, are you in Ohio?

Something like this:
Helpful Answer (2)
buckeyechick May 2019
Yes I am in Ohio. I think those requirements stink -- their caretaker requirement doesn't include taking for a elderly family member -- only a dependent child under the age of 18. They really need to fix the healthcare system in this country!
Depends - I believe if you meet the asset and income requirements you can get Medicaid so not sure if you being an unpaid caretaker will impact you at all.... there is also a program that I believe allows caregivers to get paid for their service by Medicaid if their family member is on Medicaid
Helpful Answer (0)
worriedinCali May 2019
The “program” to pay caregivers vary from state to state and some states will not pay a family member, some states will not pay a member of the same household either. And most of the time, state Medicaid programs only pay a few hours a week. NY and MI are the exception to this. California seems to be on the generous side as well.
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