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Financial well-being

Helping reduce stress about money

Your well-being also includes your financial health, and caregiving can take a toll. A recent national survey found that nearly 2 in 10 employed caregivers had to stop working, while 4 in 10 had to reduce their working hours.1 Caregivers also often pay out-of-pocket for meals, medical supplies, and other expenses.

These tips may help save money or even reimburse you for care you provide.

Make the most of health insurance.

If you’re not familiar with your loved one’s health coverage, there may be BCBSRI benefits that can save money (and time), such as lower costs for mail order drugs, $0 visits at certain primary care providers, and no-cost help from a BCBSRI health professional.

You can visit a Your Blue StoreSM location together to talk with a BCBSRI associate in person. And if your loved one designates you as a personal representative on their plan, you can talk with BCBSRI Customer Service on their behalf. Your loved one would need to complete the form by logging into myBCBSRI. The “Designee” form is under “My Account.” They can also get a copy of the form by contacting BCBSRI Customer Service.

Making it easier

If the person you are caring for is 65+ or living with a disability, they may have a BCBSRI Medicare Advantage plan with additional money-saving benefits, including $0 private rides and a monthly quarterly allowance to spend on everyday health items. Learn about benefits that can help.

See if help is available through the government.

If you haven’t yet explored help through the government, see if your loved one is eligible for these programs:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs provide assistance to people who meet certain requirements for disability. Find out more.
  • Medicaid, together with the Children’s Health Insurance Program, provides health coverage to low-income families, qualified pregnant women and children, and individuals receiving SSI benefits. Some states may also cover other groups. Find out more.
  • Medicare is often thought of as only for adults aged 65 and older, but some people living with a disability or certain medical conditions can also qualify. If your loved one receives SSDI, they will automatically receive Medicare Parts A and B after 24 months. Find out more.
  • Extra Help is for people receiving Medicare who have limited resources and income. It helps pay for monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and copays related to Medicare prescription drug coverage. Find out more.
Making it easier

If your loved one qualifies for Medicare and Medicaid, they can enroll in our BlueRI for Duals (HMO D-SNP) plan, which has a $0 premium and many $0 benefits. If they don’t have Medicare and Medicaid, we can help find out if they’re eligible. Give us a call at (401) 459-5477 or 1-855-430-9293 (TTY: 711).

Ask your employer about caregiver leave and other support.

Some companies offer paid leave to caregivers, so be sure that you’re familiar with your employer’s benefits. You may also be able to talk with your employer about flexible hours that could help with your caregiving responsibilities. If your company has an Employee Assistance Program, they may have resources that can help.

While it is an unpaid option, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may offer time off if you need it. Eligible employees of covered employers can take 12 work weeks of leave in a 12-month period to care for a spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition. Some states, including Rhode Island, offer their own version of FMLA leave, which may provide for longer leave periods.

Making it easier

Eligible Rhode Islanders can receive up to 6 weeks of caregiver benefits to care for a seriously ill family members or to bond with a new child. Find out more about Rhode Island Temporary Caregiver Insurance.

Look into programs that pay caregivers.

Some government programs pay family or friends of people with disabilities to help with daily activities including personal care, giving medicine, cooking, cleaning, and more. Some long-term care insurance policies also allow family members to get paid as caregivers. Find out more.

Making it easier

If you are caring for someone who is enrolled in certain BCBSRI Medicare Advantage plans2, they may have a Caregiver Reimbursement benefit and can give you $50/year for help with basic household and/or transportation assistance.

1Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers. Working While Caring: A National Survey of Caregiving Stress in the U.S Workforce.

2Available with BlueCHiP for Medicare Value (HMO-POS) and HealthMate for Medicare (PPO).