Who Qualifies As A Caregiver Under Medicare Rules In Indiana?

June 19, 2023

A caregiver is anyone who helps someone else who needs some assistance with daily activities around the home, whether due to aging, illness, disability, or other special needs. The home care services provided by caregivers can include personal assistance with personal grooming, meals, moving around the house, light housework and laundry, or even skilled medical care in some cases. 

Depending on the type of care needed, a caregiver can be a career professional or someone in the medical field such as a nurse or therapist. In many cases, ordinary people become informal caregivers for their family members, doing unpaid care work out of love or obligation, but even then, there are ways that they can receive compensation and support for their work

Providing in-home care is important work, with many benefits for the one cared for, and deserves to be compensated. If you or a loved one benefits from Medicare or Medicaid, it is possible to get these programs to pay for an in-home caregiver, provided that certain criteria are met. In some cases, this can allow people to hire family members as caregivers paid for by government assistance. In this article, we will look at how this works and what your options are in the state of Indiana.

How Do You Qualify For A Medicare Caregiver In Indiana?

Rules and conditions for government benefits can vary from state to state, and this article focuses on options for home care in Indiana via Medicare or Medicaid.

Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid

Generally speaking, most Medicare plans require caregivers to work for certified facilities, e.g., nursing homes or home care agencies with an existing partnership with Medicare. Home care covered by Medicare benefits includes the following services that need to be carried about by skilled medical professionals:

  • Nursing care on an intermittent basis
  • Occupational and physical therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Services that need specialized medical skills, such as administering injections

Medicare does not directly pay for family members to become caregivers of their loved ones.  However, Medicaid, which is for  low-income families, is more flexible: some Medicaid programs are structured to allow the beneficiary to choose how their allowances are spent, including potentially employing family caregivers.

To see if your Medicaid plan will permit this, try searching your plan for the following keywords:

  • Self-directed
  • Consumer-directed
  • Participant-directed
  • Cash and counseling

All the above are used to refer to programs in which the beneficiary has some discretion over how their benefits are spent, and could let you employ a family member as a caregiver. You can also apply via Medicaid’s website, on behalf of yourself or someone else.

When Is Home Care Not Covered By Medicare?

Not all kinds of home care services are covered by Medicare. For example, Medicare will not pay for a caregiver if the recipient is:

  • In need of 24-hour care
  • Able to leave their home under their own power
  • Not in recovery

Furthermore, Medicare will not pay for a caregiver who provides non-medical services. If the primary need is for assistance in daily activities (going to the bathroom, grocery shopping, dressing, housekeeping, etc.), or due to general frailty, then this will not be covered by Medicare.

How Do I Apply To Be A Medicare Caregiver?

Even in the case of a plan that may allow some discretion to choose your caregiver, the family member must still apply via Medicare and be assessed and approved for the role. Success depends on the type and frequency of the care provided, the recipient’s insurance coverage, and whether any special medical supplies are needed.

Get Help With Becoming A Caregiver In Indiana

Medicare and Medicaid rules can be complicated, but if you live in Indiana and are looking for help on how to become a family caregiver or employ a family caregiver, then Nova Home Care can help you. 

Nova Home Care provides professional, personalized in-home care throughout the state of Indiana. We support family members becoming caregivers by providing official employment via our agency, including benefits such as insurance, 401K, training, paid time off, and more. Our services are covered by Medicaid, and we can help eligible families get their home care paid for via their benefits.

As a caregiver employed by Nova Home Care, you do not require any medical qualifications. However, you will need a high school diploma (or GED) and reliable transportation. If you would like to check your eligibility as a caregiver, check our careers page for more information and apply via our website.

Contact us online or call 317-537-2490 to find out more about how we can help you qualify as a family caregiver in Indiana with any Medicare or Medicaid benefits your family member may be eligible for.

You May Be Eligible!