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How to Pay for Respite Services

By HERWriter
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Caregiving related image Photo: Getty Images

One of the main issues caregivers consider before taking respite is how will they be able to cover the cost of care for their loved one.

There are two ways to pay for respite care. You can pay with your own private personal funds or through state/local financial respite funding.

If you pay for respite care with your own funds here are some costs to consider. The following costs were compiled from the MetLife Mature Market Institute:
• The national average hourly rates for home health aides is $21

• Across the nation, Louisiana has the lowest costs for home care and Minnesota has the highest cost for home care
• The national average hourly rates for homemakers is $19
• The national average daily rates for adult day services is $67
• Alabama has the lowest daily rate for adult day services and Vermont has the highest at $140 per day

Due to budget cuts, respite funding is lean and scarce. However, there are state and federal sources available for respite.

If you are looking to take a break and need respite funds, please use the following sources as a starting point. Also, ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center offers a fact sheet with additional national sources. The fact sheet includes respite care for adults and children: http://www.archrespite.org/images/docs/Lifespan_Summit_Docs/Building_Blocks_for_Lifespan_Respite.pdf

Possible respite funding sources:
• Family Caregiver Alliance Family Navigator Program

• Medicaid
If the senior patient meets the income guidelines, Medicaid may cover costs in an Alzheimer’s environment or a licensed day care center with a "medical model."

• Medicaid State Plans
Respite care is covered in Colorado, Iowa, Nevada and Washington. These states offer a state plan option for home and community-based services. However, you must qualify for this non-waived program under Medicaid’s income guidelines. Also, Medicaid is adding states annually.

• Medicade Waivers
Medicade waivers are available in every state. To see if you qualify for respite care, you must check with your state’s Medicaid office.

• Medicare
Medicare does not cover day care costs. However, most caregivers are eligible for respite funding if their loved one is in hospice.

• National Family Caregiver Support Program
Possible funding is available for the following through local Area Agencies on Aging (AAA)
o Caring for someone over the age of 60
o Someone with Alzheimer’s
o Grandparents, age 55 or older, caring for a grandchild
o Relative of an adult with certain disabilities
To find your local AAA call 800-677-1116 or go to http://www.eldercare.gov/Eldercare.NET/Public/Index.aspx

• Veterans
For veterans, respite services are limited to 30 days per year. The respite services are offered through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). http://www.caregiver.va.gov/support_landing.asp
Other possible veteran sources include:
• TRICARE's Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) http://www.tricare.mil/mybenefit/
• Military Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP)

• State Lifespan Respite Programs

• State Respite Coalitions


Reviewed June 29, 2011
Edited by Alison Stanton

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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