Can You Get Paid For Providing Palliative Care To A Family Member?

Although there are teams of doctors and nurses that provide palliative care to patients in hospitals, hospices, and nursing homes, it's not always feasible to put a terminally ill loved one in a medical facility. However, sometimes caring for the person at home requires that the caretaker reduce hours at work, take time off work, or quit altogether; something many American families can ill afford. Luckily, it may be possible to get paid for providing palliative care to your loved one. Here's more information about this issue.

Cash and Counseling Programs

Medicare and Medicaid pay for palliative care. Both agencies require the care to be provided through pre-approved programs. Even in-home palliative care must be done by approved providers if the policyholder wants to use the benefits available in their plans.

There are exceptions, though. Many states have what are called Cash and Counseling Programs that pay for the care of seniors and terminally ill people. Those people are able to name anyone as their caretakers, including friends and family members. In some states, the program pays the caretaker directly. In others, the money is given to the applicant and that person pays his or her caretaker using it.

The majority of the time, Cash and Counseling programs are administered through the state Medicaid program. For instance, in Michigan, it's called the Medicaid Home Help program. In some rare cases, the program is run independent of any government agency but still uses Medicaid income requirements to qualify people for assistance. Regardless of who actually administers the program, they are typically need-based, meaning the program will consider the individual's income to determine eligibility.

Qualifying for Payment

In general, there is an income and asset limit that applicants must be at or below to qualify for the Cash and Counseling programs. As noted previously, this limit is based on the financial requirements set by Medicaid. For example, applicants can't have more than $2,000 in assets to qualify for the Medicaid Home Help program in Michigan (homes and vehicles aren't included).

The program will also evaluate the individual's medical situation to determine how much assistance is needed which, in turn, determines how many hours the program will pay for. For instance, if it's determined the person needs 40 hours of care per month, the monthly payment will be calculated based on that number. The hourly rate the program pays varies depending on the state and county, but is usually less than the average amount a person working for an agency would be paid.

To apply for the Cash and Counseling program, contact the Medicaid agency in your area. Even if Medicaid doesn't administer the program in your state, it can usually direct you to the appropriate agency. For more information about providing palliative care for a loved one speak to a medical professional. To purchase products to help you manage the person's health, contact a medical supply company. Visit for more information.