I need to leave my job to care for my parents. They are 84, both on oxygen and mom has dementia, Can I get health insurance somewhere?


If I use FMLA, does my employer continue my health insurance?

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Hi, just my 2 cents worth.

I live with my elderly grandmother and take care of her and the home.

I also work 30 hours a week. It’s stressful at times but totally worth keeping your job!

It allows you some freedom and independence.
Think of your future too.
Your life is just as important and valuable as your parents.

Balance is the key.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Gbprincess

I would agree with those who tell you not to leave your job. I happened to lose my job shortly before my dad began going downhill, so in a sense that worked out well, but while caring for my dad, I so wished I would have had the distraction of my job. My dad was not the problem but my neurotic mom who assumed I could be there full time plus to help out because I didn't have a job

That said, if you do leave and your income is low, you can get cheap insurance through the states.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Karsten

bgreer, if at all possible do not quit your job. You would lose benefits that we tend to take for granted. Of course, depending on where you work and what benefits are offered, you would lose not only your salary but the net worth of the benefits.

Net worth of benefits would be the cost of having health insurance that your employer gives to you..... you would lose matching 401(k) if that is a benefit offered and you take.... you would lose profit sharing if that is a benefit....

you would lose paid vacation days.... paid sick days.... paid holidays.... you would lose any paid educational benefits, if offered.... you would lose company sponsored life insurance, if offered. And you would lose payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare.

As mentioned above, The Family Medical Leave Act is limited to only 12 weeks then you would need to return to work. You would not be able to use it again until 12 full months had passed once you return to work. In many cases you would not receive any salary unless your company had a plan similar to AFLAC and the salary wouldn't be your full salary. FMLA helps saves you a position back into the company, and it made not be the same job you had prior to taking FMLA.

One has to be careful taking FMLA, I was glad I never touched it to help with my parents because out of the blue I had a very serious illness and I had to use the full 12 weeks of FMLA for myself to recover.

Now could your parents pay you what you would have lost $$ in salary and the net cost of benefits you would have lost? If yes, then this might work for a couple of years until you get exhausted from helping your parents. It's like having 3 full-time jobs each and every day. But if your parents can pay you that much, then they can pay a caregiver instead so you can continue to work.

I know this can get so complex when our parents need more help at home.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to freqflyer

Please DO NOT leave your PAID job! FMLA allows employees to take up to 12 WORKWEEKS (3 MONTHS) of leave in a 12-MONTH PERIOD to care for a…parent who has a serious health condition. Your parents are in their mid-80's, they could live for another 10 YEARS! Do you plan to NOT WORK for 10 YEARS? Do you plan to NOT receive a PAYCHECK for 10 YEARS? By quitting your job, and taking care of your parents full-time, you will be undermining your own financial future.

When you lose job-based insurance, you may be offered COBRA continuation coverage by your former employer. COBRA provides “a temporary continuation of group health coverage…from the date of the qualifying event for a limited period of 18 or 36 MONTHS.” YOU PAY most, if not ALL, of the COBRA insurance. Your employer does NOT PAY for your COBRA health insurance.

If you are still unemployed after 18-36 months, then you have to GET YOUR OWN health insurance. If you are under age 65, then you do not qualify for Medicaid. If you are unemployed and have NO income or receive NO Social Security, you could end up paying $1, 200/MONTH for health insurance because you have to have some income to qualify for the tax breaks through Affordable Care Act.

I have a friend who is unable to work due to disability and has NO INCOME. Therefore, he does not qualify for ACA reduced premium health insurance because you need at least $12,000/year to qualify for AHA premium tax relief. Thus he pays $1,200/Month ($14,400/Year) from his retirement fund to pay for his health insurance.

Most people who start to take of someone at home, rarely return to work until the person they are caring for goes to an assisted living or nursing home. I think that you need to have someone else, such as Home Health, take care of your parents at home OR encourage your parents to go to an assisted living or a long term care facility. (I suggest that you read some of the problems other caregivers have had and are having in caring for their loved ones. It will make you think twice before giving 100% of your life to caring for your parents.) Going to an assisted living or nursing home may not be what they or you want, but it may be the BEST SITUATION FOR THEM.

Please review these website and PDFs before you make a decision to take time off of work to care for your parents:




Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to DeeAnna

Most people end up regretting leaving their jobs to care for elderly parents. You could care for your parents for several years (depending on how old they are) and once they're gone you're left with no place to live and no job. You will not be the same person you are now after caring for your parents and it's that person who will need to immediately find a job when the time comes.

I hope you can find an alternative to quitting your job.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Eyerishlass

Um, if you are on FMLA and not working, how will you pay for the health insurance that your employer continues? Employer is also not required to continue paying you salary other than accrued vacation pay while you are on FMLA - it's not a PAID benefit. Employers will NOT pay for both parts of health insurance as employer if you are on FMLA. You can look on the marketplace for plans in your state or apply for Medicaid if you are not working.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Guestshopadmin

Oh my....do not leave your job to care for your elder parents. You must think of what happens to you when it is your old age...can they go into assisted living? Do they have assets to pay for help? Please consider the consequences to yourself...
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to ML4444

To my knowledge, health insurance does continue during FMLA. Check with HR to be sure. Also, COBRA laws provide for continued health coverage for a period after you leave. 18 months I believe. You may have to pay both the employee and employer portion of the premium. So, if your employer was contributing, this may seem like a hefty price.
You might consider alternatives to leaving your employment to do caregiving for your parents. There are many threads on this site discussing the related issues. Caregiving takes a huge toll on the family members --- emotionally, physically, and financially.
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Reply to geewiz