Do You Accept Long-Term Care Insurance?
Yes, we do work with long term care insurance companies. With traditional home care agencies, the insurer reimburses the agency directly. With Kindly Care, the client pays their caregiver directly and then gets reimbursed, usually within a month. The insurance requires periodic invoices together with daily/weekly care notes, which we provide. When you first hire us, we check your benefits with your insurer and let you know if they honor our policies, which they mostly do, and what daily amounts they will reimburse.
Do Medicare or Medicaid Pay for Long-Term Care at Home?
Regrettably, Medicare does not pay for custodial or long-term care at home or in facilities. This is not an issue specific to Kindly care, for it applies to all types of in-home or in-facility custodial care.
Medicaid, or Medi-Cal in California, is a means-tested program that caters to the lowest income groups. You would have to spend down your loved one’s total assets to close to the government’s poverty line to become eligible.
Can you help me find an IHSS caregiver?
Regrettably, the answer is no. If your loved one qualifies for IHSS benefits, it is up to the IHSS system to find you an appropriate caregiver.
What Are Possible Funding Sources for Home Care?
“Private pay”, i.e. using the family’s own financial resources, is in the vast majority of cases used to fund long-term care at home. Long-term care insurance policies, for those who have such policies, comes next to that. The Veteran’s Administration can also be helpful for eligible vets, and so can the worker’s comp organization, particularly for people who have been injured on the job. Finally, many families have of late also resorted to reverse mortgaging their parent’s home as a means to pay for their long-term care at home.
What If I Only Hire Occasionally?
There are tax considerations even when you hire only occasionally:
Federal Trigger: In 2017, $2,000 a year was the annual dollar amount paid someone working in or around your home that makes them your W-2 employee. Take for example that gardener who maintains your yard working some 10 or 15 hours a month, or the babysitter or senior caregiver you hire on occasion, if the amount you pay any of them aggregates to $2,000 or more per calendar year, the IRS wants you to treat them as your (W-2) household employees.
State (EDD) Trigger: In 2017, $750 a quarter paid out to anyone working in or around your home compels you to register with the EDD (California’s Employment Development Department), report employee wages, and withhold SDI on the whole amount paid out.
State (UI and ETT) Triggers: In 2017, $1,000 a quarter paid out to anyone working in or around your home compels you to start paying UI (California’s Unemployment Insurance) and ETT (California’s Employment Training Tax).
How Do I Pay My New Caregiver?
Kindly Care will help you with all the paperwork and steps you’ll need to initiate payments for your new caregiver:
• If you don’t already have one, Kindly Care will help you obtain a Federal “Employer Identification Number” (EIN) that registers you as the employer (similar to your social security number)
• We’ll also help you register in the state of California as a household employer
• And we’ll ensure that your new caregiver fills out a W-4, stating her tax withholding preferences, and an I-9, confirming her eligibility to work in the U.S.
Which Payment Methods Are Accepted?
We handle payments to your caregiver much like the way employees are paid in Corporate America. Your caregiver would be paid weekly by ACH bank-to-bank transfers, executed on your behalf by us.
Do I Pay My Caregiver a Salary or Hourly Wages?
Again, this is part of the services we offer all our clients, included in our flat fee.
You cannot pay household employees a fixed salary in California; they have to be paid by the hour, their paystub reflecting the number of regular and overtime hours worked in each pay period.
For each work period, we aggregate the number of regular as well as overtime hours worked.
How Are the Hours Calculated?
Our online apps, available to you as well as to the caregivers, routinely list the number of hours worked each day and each week.
What If the Reported Hours Are Incorrect?
If the workhours for one work period are incorrect, you can make the necessary adjustments in the following work period to give your employee their correct wages.
What kind of tax credits can I take advantage of?
Here are the tax advantages you might qualify for as a household employer:
• Flexible Spending Accounts (also known as Dependent Care Accounts): Most businesses allow their employees to contribute up to $5,000 of their pre-tax earnings to this type of account for childcare expenses, thus avoiding you Federal, state, and FICA taxes on that $5,000 of your income. Depending on your tax bracket, this can equate to a saving for you of between $2,100 and $2,300 annually.
• Child Care Tax Credit: IRS Form 2441 enables you to claim a “Tax Credit for Child or Dependent Care” at the end of the calendar year if you don’t have access to the above Flexible Spending Account. This can save you $600 if yours is a family with one dependent, or $1,200 if with two dependents.
For Families with two or more dependents: If you are a family with two or more dependents, the government allows you to deduct up to $6,000 for dependent care. If you therefore already deducted $5,000 on your Flexible Spending Account, you can use IRS Form 2411 to claim the additional $1,000.