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Medicare Caregiver Resources in New York

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

 Personal finance

 Nutrition

 Medication adherence

 Home safety

 Legal matters, such as power of attorney

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

Caregiver Resources

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.

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 enables you to access that person's care 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.

Managing Finances

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 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 

    Legal Matters

    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.

    Extra Help

    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. 

    Ianacare

    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. 

    Aunt Bertha

    For help outside your social network, Aunt Bertha 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.

    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 have a video or phone visit with a doctor, therapist, or psychiatrist from the convenience of home. 

    Practicing Self-Care

    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. 

    Empire BlueCross BlueShield is a Medicare Advantage plan with a Medicare contract. Empire BlueCross BlueShield is a SNP plan with a Medicare contract and a contract with the state Medicaid program. Enrollment in Empire BlueCross BlueShield depends on contract renewal.