Medicare Caregiver Resources in California | Anthem
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Medicare Caregiver Resources in California

Being a caregiver is an important responsibility, but it also can be complex and stressful. You often need to be an instant expert on things like:

  • Health insurance, including Medicare or Medicaid
  • Personal finance
  • Nutrition
  • Medication adherence
  • Home safety
  • Legal matters like power of attorney

Fortunately, there are caregiver resources available to help you navigate the process.

Understanding different health insurance options is one of the first things you'll need to do. When caring for someone who is on Medicare or soon will be, it's important to understand their options. Start by learning more about Medicare and the plans available.

You can also learn more about the expanded care and benefits Anthem is offering members for COVID-19.

Gathering resources in your community can help put your mind at ease. We recommend using the Family Caregiver Alliance’s Family Care Navigator to locate caregiver support in your state. Select your state, and then choose “Services for Care Recipients Living at Home” to start your search.

Sign up for a Dedicated Caregiver Account

If you're providing care and support to someone with an Anthem Medicare plan, you can create a caregiver account. This allows you to access that person's care in one easy place – online. You can find doctors and hospitals, manage medications, and pay bills on behalf of the person for whom you're caring.

To create a caregiver account, first  log into the member's account. Then, designate yourself as a caregiver in the Privacy & Access section of the member's profile.

Log in to sign up

You may be wondering about the financial impact of caregiving. Here are some common caregiving expenses:

  • Medical needs
  • Household expenses
  • Personal care items
  • Travel and legal fees
  • Paid help

In some cases, you may qualify for assistance or payment for caregiver services and expenses. Making a list of your expenses and resources can help you create a realistic budget.

In general, Medicare doesn't cover expenses for in-home caregivers to provide personal care and housekeeping, if medical care isn't needed. Medicare does cover short-term caregiving expenses if someone needs medical care following a surgery, illness, or injury.

Medicare also typically covers short-term home health services if a doctor prescribes the care for a person who is homebound. This includes services such as skilled nursing care, and physical or occupational therapy. Plus, there are Medicare Advantage plans that include extras such as meal deliveries, home helpers, and transportation to doctor appointments.

SOURCE: https://www.healthline.com/health/medicare/can-medicare-pay-for-a-caregiver

From power of attorney to living wills, becoming a caregiver comes with legal considerations. It's a good idea to contact an attorney or advocacy group to you navigate these complicated issues.

Not all caregiving situations require constant or live-in care. Maybe your loved one needs extra help with housecleaning, getting dressed, and bathing. If possible, consider hiring someone who can help with these tasks, so that you don't have to do it all on your own. You can download a mobile app, Ianacare*, to help activate support from your own community of friends, family, and contacts to coordinate the daily caregiving tasks.

For help outside your social network,  Aunt Bertha offers a simple search tool for locating free or reduced cost services for items like medical care and food in your community.

*Ianacare is not owned by Anthem and Anthem makes no representations or warranties of any kind, as to the operation of the Ianacare service, its content, or materials, including but not limited to the privacy or security, of the Ianacare application.
Doctor Visits from Home

As a caregiver, you may not always be available to take someone to the doctor. Our Medicare Advantage plans include LiveHealth® Online, a 24/7 service for telehealth visits. Patients can do a video or phone visit with a doctor, therapist, or psychiatrist from the safety of home.

Caregiving is noble but it's not without challenges. If you feel overwhelmed, consider hiring a home health aide – even if it's for one day a month – so you can take time for yourself. Or ask local rehabilitation and nursing centers if they can provide expert, short-term respite stays to give you a much-needed break. You can also see if a family member or friend will fill in for you when you need a day off.

It can help to join an online or in-person caregiver group or even start your own. These groups provide an outlet for expressing your feelings and finding the support you need.

Additional Resources

Many organizations offer help and support for managing your responsibilities. Here are just a few of them:

AARP Family Caregiving

A comprehensive resource with a range of caregiving topics, along with an online discussion board that connects caregivers to each other.

Family Caregiver Alliance

Offers education and directories for caregivers and is also a national voice for caregiving policies and advocacy.

Help for Cancer Caregivers

This is specifically directed to those caring for cancer patients, but many of the resources can apply to all caregivers.

The Caregiver Action Network

Provides a place to connect with other caregivers through a peer forum and story-sharing platform, as well as a family caregiver toolbox and more.

Alzheimer's Association

The Alzheimer’s Association works on a global, national, and local level to provide care and support for those affected by Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.