Caregiver Health Insurance

As Congress debates the healthcare overhaul legislation, Caregiverlist decided to find out if professional caregivers receive healthcare benefits, as oftentimes companies require caregivers to be full-time employees to qualify.

The results?  Only 26% of Caregivers said "Yes, as a professionally employed senior caregiver, I receive healthcare benefits."

Another 18% of Caregivers said the do not participate in their company health benefit program because the co-pay is too much.

Caregiverlist Survey:
Professionally Employed Caregivers Receiving Health Insurance as a Benefit:  26%
Professionally Employed Caregivers Not Participating in the Company Health Insurance Because it is Too Costly:  18%

However, those Americans who do not have insurance, are not turned away from emergency rooms for care, even if they are unable to pay.

According to Northwestern Memorial Hospital's annual report (Northwestern is located in downtown Chicago, Illinois and is a leading university research hospital), in 2008, $28.6 million was spent on providing "charity care" to these individuals who did not have insurance and could not pay for care.  Another $110.3 million was for the additional costs of unreimbursed Medicare and Medicaid patient care.

Because healthcare is not available to everyone - even co-pays can be too expensive for small businesses and individuals because they do not enjoy the benefit of having risk spread out over a large number of people - health care costs are higher for those who do pay and insurance costs are higher.

Many Americans only receive health insurance for the first time in they go onto Medicare insurance, which everyone receives at age 65.

One wonders what would happen if preventive care were part of our system.  In addition, as the baby boomer population numbers 77+ million people, many more senior caregivers will be needed.  It would be nice to know that individuals who must quit their jobs to care for a relative and caregivers working for small businesses will have access to affordable health insurance.  As we try to find the best ways to provide care for seniors, Caregiverlist hopes we can also pave the way to provide care for the senior caregivers through affordable health insurance benefits. , ,

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