In Colorado, family, friends, and spouses can get paid to care for their loved ones with special needs through various programs. If you become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), you receive compensation for your caregiving work through licensed home care agencies partnered with Colorado Medicaid.
While you can get paid to care for your family in Colorado, you may be unsure how to receive financial support for your invaluable service. Recognizing this, our team at Abby Care created this quick guide to help steer you in the right direction, offering insights on various ways to get paid for providing care to your special needs loved ones.
Medicaid Waivers for Family Caregivers in Colorado
Medicaid waivers, also known as Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers, offer financial support for caring individuals like yourself who provide invaluable services to ensure the well-being of loved ones with special needs. These waivers enable your family member to receive care in their own home, often a more cost-efficient alternative to nursing home care.
As a family caregiver in Colorado, you can receive payment through these Medicaid waivers:
Understanding Medicaid’s Self-Direction Program
The Medicaid self-direction program eases the financial burden of caregiving and supports family caregivers, much like yourself. You need to enroll in the self-direction program to receive payment from Medicaid as a family caregiver.
The program allows those in need of long-term care services to have more control over their care decisions. Typically, Medicaid dictates the provider and how the care is administered, but with self-direction, the person receiving care, which may include family members, has more influence.
Enrolling in Medicaid’s self-direction involves checking what in-home care is needed, getting approval, and doing some training. You need to get credentials and be hired by an agency responsible for processing your payments.
After your enrollment and agency hiring, you need to follow specific procedures to document and verify your work for compensation. Though signing up for self-direction might seem a bit complicated, it’s a real chance for you to get paid for your work.
How Much Does Medicaid Pay for Family Care in Colorado?
If you find employment caring for your loved one under one of the available waivers, you could earn on average between $17-$20 per hour. However, the hourly rate may be affected by a few factors, including:
- Program Guidelines: Each Medicaid waiver program has its rules about how much caregivers can be paid per hour. These rules usually include the highest amount you can earn for each hour of caregiving. At Abby Care, we make sure you receive the compensation you deserve, supporting your caregiving journey with competitive pay starting at $20/hr, overtime pay, and quarterly bonuses.
- Level of Care Required: The difficulty of care needed affects how much you earn per hour. For instance, caring for someone with a chronic illness or assisting with mobility challenges often falls into the category of higher-level care and may warrant a higher rate compared to basic caregiving tasks.
- Local Wage Rates: How much you get paid per hour is influenced by your geographic area as the caregiver or that of your loved one with special needs. Various factors specific to your area are taken into consideration to determine the most appropriate hourly rate.
- Qualifications and Experience: The hourly is influenced by your qualifications and experience as a caregiver. You are likely to earn a higher rate if you are a CNA or have caregiving-related certifications. With Abby Care, you can get financial assistance to cover all costs related to your CNA training.
- Time Commitment: The number of hours you put into caregiving plays a crucial role in determining your compensation. Opting for full-time care for your family member often results in a higher rate compared to part-time work.
Other Colorado Programs Paying for Family Caregiving
In addition to Medicaid, several other programs in Colorado provide financial support for family caregiving. Take a closer look at these opportunities:
- Long-Term Care Insurance: If your family member has a long-term care insurance plan, there could be an opportunity to channel financial support towards a family caregiver. To explore this possibility, reach out to the insurance provider or representative and inquire about potential caregiver benefits available for family caregivers.
- Employer-Sponsored Caregiving Leave: More and more companies are recognizing the importance of supporting employees who care for loved ones by offering paid leave. Check with your company’s Human Resources department to find out if this beneficial option is available to you.
- Colorado’s Paid Family Leave Rule (Effective 2024): Although federal regulations don’t mandate private employers to provide paid family leave, there’s good news if you find yourself caring for your loved one in Colorado. Beginning in 2024, a new rule comes into effect, providing you a potential compensation of up to $1,100 per week. This initiative allows you to receive 90% of your weekly earnings for up to 12 weeks when caring for a family member with a severe medical condition.
- Family Compensation: Explore the possibility of compensation through direct discussions with your family. In many cases, families discover that compensating someone from the family to care for a challenged loved one is often a more cost-effective choice compared to alternative care options, such as hiring in-home nurses or taking the loved one to a nursing home. If your family has the financial resources, don’t hesitate to engage in negotiations to determine fair compensation for the time and effort you dedicate to caregiving. In the event your family agrees to compensate you for your caregiving role, it is crucial to seek guidance from an attorney. Collaborate with legal professionals to establish a formal contract outlining the specifics of your work and wages. This documentation can be valuable for future health insurance or Medicaid reimbursement.
In Colorado, you and your family can access financial support through Medicaid waivers and other programs, providing benefits and independence to your loved ones. If you’re looking to get paid to care for your family in Colorado, there are various avenues to explore. For comprehensive support and competitive compensation, sign up with Abby Care today to get paid for the care you are already providing.