Caring for a Loved One
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 such as:
Health insurance, including Medicare or Medicaid
Legal matters, such as power of attorney
Fortunately, there are caregiver resources available to help you navigate the process.
Understanding different health insurance choices 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 related to COVID-19.
Taking advantage of resources in your community can be very helpful. 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.
You may be wondering about the financial impact of caregiving. Here are some common caregiving expenses:
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 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.
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 enlist support from your own community of friends, family, and contacts to coordinate the daily caregiving tasks.
For help outside your social network, findhelp offers a simple search tool for locating free- or reduced-cost services for items such as 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.
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.
Many organizations offer help and support for managing your responsibilities. Here are just a few of them:
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is a PDP plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield depends on contract renewal.