In our previous post, we began discussing an often overlooked aspect of Medicaid planning, namely caregiver agreements. We noted that the value of such agreements lies in their ability to prevent the recipient of health and financial management services from being penalized by Medicaid for reimbursing caregivers for health and financial management services.
Here we want to make a few more suggestions concerning the use and importance of caregiver agreements.
The following is a list of things to keep in mind with caregiver agreements.
• Only services necessary for health and welfare of the elderly person can be reimbursed without incurring a penalty.
• The caregiver may not duplicate services, so if an elderly person is already receiving Medicaid, reimbursement for duplicate services is not permitted.
• Compensation must be set at fair market value, meaning the rate of pay for similar services in the area
• It is wise to obtain a geriatric care manager evaluation to verify the type of care needed.
• It is also wise to be careful about agreeing to lump sum payments, since these are presumed to be transfers not for value and will incur a penalty.
• Caregivers must income received from caring for a family member on their tax return.
• Keep records of all financial transactions, perhaps even keeping a detailed log of all services provided.
Again, while it may not initially enter a caregiver’s mind that proving their loved one with services could later prevent them from receiving Medicaid, it is an important thing to keep in mind when planning the financial aspect of care giving.
Caregiver agreements ensure that payments made according to the agreement are not considered uncompensated transfers which would disqualify the elderly person from getting Medicaid.
Source: Times Beacon Record, “Caretaker agreement for Medicaid planning” Nancy Burner, 16 Feb 2011.