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FAQs2020-05-15T14:47:44-07:00

Frequently Asked Questions About Senior Care

Frequently Asked Questions about Home Care in Arizona

Frequently Asked Questions for senior care is more important in Arizona then in many other states because Arizona does not regulate home care.

Some companies compete by advertising the lowest caregiver rate. These rates are possible because of the classification of caregivers as independent contractors instead of employees. Classifying caregivers as independent contractors instead of employees restricts the company in providing supervision, training and enforcing policies. Additionally, senior clients and their families are at increased financial and legal risk.

Asking the right questions will help you select the right home care agency.

How long have you been in business?2020-05-15T14:47:24-07:00

Over 20 Years Providing Arizona Home Care

How long have you been in the Arizona home care business?”  –  is the polite question to answer the real question.

Our clients want to select a company that is reputable with an established track record and not a short-term operation. More and more home care companies have been closing their doors in Arizona. The length of time we have been in business is a testament to the quality of care you can expect to receive.

The company’s roots began growing in 1987 when our founder Karen Wellert started providing care for her first senior client.  In 1996, Adultcare Assistance was established as her reputation for providing outstanding care resulted in more requests for services than she was able to handle by herself.  As the company grew, we understood that reputation is everything.  As was originally implemented and continues today, each new caregiver is trained to the high standards that the Adultcare Assistance Homecare reputation demands.  Further strengthening our reputation, each caregiver is monitored by a field supervisor and required to attend continuing education courses held monthly.

Today, Adultcare Assistance Homecare continues to be an Arizona Home Care leader.  Krystal Wilkinson (President of Adultcare Assistance Homecare) serves as the President of the Arizona Chapter of the Home Care Association of America. This is largest home care organization in the US dedicated to enhancing the strength and professionalism of private duty home care providers through education and best practices.

How do I avoid paying employment taxes?2020-05-15T14:42:52-07:00

Do you want to file & pay employment taxes?

Our clients avoid the hassles and payment of payroll taxes because each caregiver is our employee and not your responsibility.  This means that Adultcare Assistance Homecare is 100% responsible for all employer related costs including payroll taxes.  The following information applies to seniors that hire caregivers through other home care agencies that place independent contractors instead of employees.  These companies may divert the employer related tax responsibility to you.

The IRS Household Employee Tax Rates

* Additional and updated information available in the IRS Publication 926.

The IRS has 16 pages of instructions for individuals with household employees called the IRS Publication 926 – Household Employer’s Tax Guide.

This publication will help you decide wether you have a household employee and if you do, whether you need to pay federal employment taxes (social security tax, Medicare tax, federal unemployment tax and federal income tax withholding). It explains how to figure, pay and report these taxes for your household employee. It also explains what records you need to keep.

Some companies may claim to be a bargain and not fully explain your tax liability. Additionally, these companies may not fully disclose their practice of using independent contractors. This is why we recommend that if you suspect the use independent contractors, then you should consult with your attorney and/or accountant prior to accepting services.

Adultcare Assistance is a different type of company. Every caregiver is our employee and not your responsibility. We give our clients the peace of mind of not having to worry about paying these taxes, filling out these forms or being subjected to related IRS penalties and back taxes.

More information on this topic is provided by the Home Care Association of America Consumer Cost Comparison.

Information contained on this page is for general information purposes only. Please contact your accountant for advice on your specific situation.

Do caregivers arrive on time?2020-05-15T14:32:52-07:00

Caregivers Arrive On Time

Recently, a gentleman called and informed us that his former home care company used undisciplined caregivers.  He was frustrated because his caregivers would arrive late, leave early and this company would not adjust his bill.  He wanted to know our policy and procedures on timeliness.

Adultcare Assistance Homecare has a culture of punctuality.  Our caregivers are required to arrive on time.  If the caregiver is running late due to unforeseen circumstances or needs to change the client’s schedule, then the on-call supervisor must be notified immediately.  We monitor when our caregivers are working through our investment in telephony tracking.  Telephony is like a time clock, the caregivers call into a toll-free number when they arrive and leave.  This system records both the time and location of the phone call.  If the caregiver does not arrive on time or leaves early, then their supervisor is notified.  Telephony has the added advantage of ensuring that our clients are not over charged.

Why are your rates higher?2020-05-15T14:30:11-07:00

Affordable Senior Home Care

Finding affordable Senior Home Care involves more that finding the lowest caregiver rate. In Arizona, some companies strive to be more affordable by offering clients more value, while others exploit a corporate employment tax and insurance loop hole.

Independent Contractor Agencies profit by avoiding standard employer costs through placing independent contractors (ICs) in your home. Even though, their ICs sign agreements that they are not employees, these contracts will be nullified if the facts present otherwise. Often, these companies will ask you to interview their caregivers.  When you hire a specific caregiver, this strenghtens their claim that you are the caregiver’s employer.  If you are declared the legal employer, then you could be responsible for taxes and on the job injury claims.

Should I Select The Lowest Caregiver Rates?

Sometimes families facing the need for home care try to simplify selecting a home care agency by ignoring important frequently asked questions and focus solely on caregiver rates. They will inquire about rates from a few companies and select the cheapest.

“Slam-dunk decision? Not necessarily. Misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor may invite tax penalties. . . . If an employee suffers an injury on the job for which there was no workers’ compensation insurance you may also face liability if the injured employee was misclassified as an independent contractor. Sometimes, the person you thought you had hired as an independent contractor decides it benefits him financially to be classified as an employee and will sue. . . . It is important to understand the legal distinctions.”

Please consult with your attorney and/or accountant if you have home employment questions.  The Arizona based Wright Law Firm provides a detailed explanation of independent contractors, sometimes referred to as direct care workers.

Affordable Senior Home Care Without Compromise

Adultcare Assistance Homecare operates at a higher standard with every caregiver an employee. We achieved quality care with an intense selection process including multiple background checks, drug screenings and a substantial investment in training. Our caregivers have regular supervisory visits and monthly paid training to ensure that the higher standards of Adultcare Assistance are followed. We truly have a caring team environment with over half of our caregivers being employees for over five years. Additionally, Adultcare Assistance assumes all employer liabilities and we do not allow these costs to become your family’s obligation.  Established in 1996, Adultcare Assistance has been recognized and awarded multiple time for providing superior care.  Although, not the lowest, Adultcare Assistance caregiver rates provide increased value, safety and comfort for our clients and their families.

Can caregivers provide wound care?2020-05-15T13:33:54-07:00

Home Health Care vs. Non-Medical Care

Providing the highest level of home health care to seniors require clearly defining the boundaries of our services.  Adultcare Assistance Homecare adheres to the national guidelines established by the Home Care Association of America.  Our streamlined focus on providing the best caregivers for in home senior care serves three purposes:

  • We are able to provide a higher level of care.
  • We are able to offer a better value.
  • Our clients and their families are happier.
Home Health Care Responsibilities
  • Injections
  • Wound care
  • Enemas or suppositories
  • Tube feeding or intravenous nutrition
  • Nasal, tracheal or endotracheal suctioning
  • Insertion, removal or flushing of a catheter
  • Postural drainage, cupping or adjusting oxygen flow (respiratory)

Often families ask us about these or other services.  Fortunately, we have experience with many different situations.  Requests outside of our expertise are referred to organizations that share our purpose and priorities.  Sometimes, we find that the best care with the most cost savings for families are to have hospice, medical home health care or a geriatric care manager work alongside our caregivers.  Families that understand and properly use all elder care resources receive better care at a lower cost. Regardless of your needs, we would like to talk with you and help you find the best solutions for your situation.

Can I trust home care for my Mom?2020-05-15T13:30:45-07:00

Arizona’s Best Caregivers

Adultcare Assistance Homecare maintains the highest standards through selecting, training and retaining Arizona’s best caregivers. We only select employees that pass our interview, field training and comprehensive background screening. Additionally, each caregiver is supervised by a senior caregiver manager to ensure consistent, reliable and trustworthy care.

Comprehensive Background Screening

Each employee is required to satisfy the requirements of our comprehensive background screening that we outsource to trusted professional organizations.  Our screening process includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Fingerprinting professionally administered by a former law enforcement officer
  • Fingerprint Clearance Card Requirement – Arizona Department of Public Safety
  • Residence Trace with Criminal Record Search – Nationwide, US
  • Sex Offender Criminal Record, Multi-Jurisdiction, US
  • County Criminal Records, Multi-Counties
  • Statewide Criminal Record Screen
  • Motor Vehicle Driving Record
  • Drug Screening
Adherence to Our Employee Manual

Our employee manual helps guide our caregivers to make the best decision for our clients. Each caregiver is required to know the Adultcare Assistance Homecare policies and are accountable to them. This simple document and our strict adherence leads to trust and better care. Surprisingly, many caregivers working for other organizations in Arizona are not accountable to an employee manual. These organization risk losing their tax advantages if they have an employee manual for their caregivers.

Why do you NOT accept Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS)?2020-05-15T13:55:46-07:00

Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS)

The Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS) is within Arizona State Medicaid program known as Arizona Health Care System (AHCCCS). ALTCS is a good program for seniors needing government assistance. The program is for individuals who are 65 or older, blind, or disabled and need ongoing services at a nursing facility level of care. Additionally, many Arizona Long Term Care System participants live in their own homes or an assisted living facility and receive needed in-home services.

ALTCS | Arizona Long Term Care System

Our clients typically do not qualify for ALTCS because for single applicants, countable resources cannot be more than $2,000. And, non-countable assets such as a home are subject to estate recovery. The estate recovery reimburses the government for ALTCS expenses incurred. As you can image, most affluent seniors and their families do not find these terms attractive.

So, we were faced with the decision. Do we try to substantially grow our business by accepting Arizona Long Term Care System? Or, do we focus on provide the highest level of care? Could you imagine a high end resort attempting to manage a budget motel with the same team? This would lead to a lack of quality focus and the high end resort would ultimately suffer. Likewise, we do not want to jeopardize the quality of care for our clients. Some of our private pay clients were previously with companies accepting ALTCS. These clients now enjoy their improved level of care and special treatment from Adultcare Assistance Homecare.

What happens if my caregiver is injured?2020-05-15T14:03:48-07:00

Insist on Adult Home Care Workers Compensation

Workers’ compensation, also known as workmans’ comp, is a state-mandated insurance program that provides compensation to employees who suffer job-related injuries and illnesses.  This is an important question because not all in-home care companies pay Workers’ Compensation.  If an Adultcare Assistance Caregiver claims a work-related injury then our workers’ compensation insurance covers the investigation and payment of that claim.  Our clients do NOT have to purchase additional workers’ compensation insurance or a special home owner insurance policy.  More importantly, Adultcare Assistance Homecare clients do not have the legal employer-related liabilities that they could experience with other adult home care agencies.

Adult Home Care Injury Fraud

Most caregivers are very honest.  Only a small number scam work-related injuries for personal profit, but the damage they cause can cost unprotected clients a fortune.  Families concerned about on the job injury fraud should insist that their adult home care company provides workers compensation to all their caregivers.

Adultcare Assistance Homecare has a zero tolerance for employee fraud and will cooperate fully with law enforcement agencies and our insurance providers.

Will My Home Owners Policy Cover Work-Related Injuries?

If you select Adultcare Assistance Homecare, then you do not need to additional insurance for work related injuries because this is covered as benefit with all of our services. Some adult home care agencies do not include this coverage with their caregiver services because they do not claim their caregivers as employees for tax and insurance purposes. An uncovered injury can cost a family thousands of dollars in medical bills and lost wages. The Special Needs Alliance provides more comprehensive legal information in the The Pitfalls of Caregiver Employment: Paying, Withholding, and Reporting Requirements.

What are your caregiver rates?2020-05-15T14:11:09-07:00

WHAT ARE YOUR CAREGIVER RATES?

One of the most frequent questions we hear is “What are your caregiver rates per hour?” This is a difficult question to answer without having an understanding of your needs. Determining if our services match your needs is typically best if done during a phone or home assessment. Many families do not understand that Home Care Agencies have the option of paying employment taxes and workers compensation. If the agency chooses not to cover these expenses then the burden/risk become the responsibility of the client and their family. Arizona does NOT license home care and there is a wide variety of services offered.

DO I WANT THE HOME CARE AGENCY TO BE THE EMPLOYER?

More important than asking, “What does home care cost per hour?” is to first ask, “Do I Want the Home Care Agency to be the Employer?“. In answering this question, what are some of the other follow up questions that need to be asked?

It is important that seniors understand the differences before deciding on a home care company. Please find our caregiver rates below.

NO – I WANT TO BE THE EMPLOYER

  • How am I going to find and select caregivers?
  • How am I going to supervise and train my caregivers?
  • What are the policy and procedures that I will require my caregivers to follow?
  • What happens when my caregiver becomes ill or quits suddenly?
  • What happens if my caregiver is injured in my home? Does my home insurance cover employees?
  • If my caregiver is terminated am I responsible for paying unemployment?
  • Does the IRS require me to pay employment taxes? How do I know how much to pay?
  • What are the requirements from the Department of Labor?

YES – I WANT MY HOME CARE AGENCY TO BE THE EMPLOYER

  • Does the home care agency have any 1099-contracted caregivers or direct care workers? If so, then choose another company.
  • What is the reputation of the home care agency?
  • Is the management of the home care agency available 24 hours per day for emergencies?
  • What level of home care is needed? What home care agency best meets your needs?
  • Do you like the caregivers and Home Care Managers?
  • How long has the home care agency been around?
  • Does the home care agency accept my insurance?
  • And then, “What will my Home Care Cost per Hour?

ADULTCARE ASSISTANCE HOMECARE RATES

Care by Visit is helpful for seniors needing 4 hours of assistance every day or as little as a few days per week. Caregivers can provide medication reminders, shower visits, meal preparation, transportation assistance and wake-ups/turn-downs.

$116* to $120

per visit

Hourly Home Care allows seniors to continue living in their own home while using Adultcare Assistance Homecare caregivers on an hourly or as-needed basis. These caregiver rates begin at 4 hours. As your needs change, you may receive discounted rates on longer shifts.

$29* to $30

per hour

24 hour home care allows your loved one to live in the comfort of home and safely maintain as much independence as possible. With around-the-clock care, a caregiver is always watching over your loved one, offering emotional support, reducing fall risk and assisting in ADLs.

$696* to $720

per day

You do NOT pay a higher rate for weekends or nights.

You do NOT pay a higher rate for overtime hours.

You do NOT pay a higher rate for caregiver manager support.

Mileage: When a caregiver uses their own vehicle to transport the client, the standard rate of 75 cents per mile will be charged. When a caregiver uses the client’s vehicle for transport and running client’s errands, there is no additional expense. We recommend the client review their auto policy to ensure that caregivers are covered drivers.

Holidays: Holiday caregiver rate is time-and-a-half. Holidays include New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas & New Year’s Eve.

Immediate Staffing:  Immediate staffing requests occasionally require additional charges.

*Automated Clearing House (ACH) Discount:  ACH payments are electronic payments that go through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network that reduces both bank and administrative costs. As a thank you to our clients that use ACH payments we offer a discounted rate.

All Rates Are Subject To Change Without Notice.

What is Trump’s plan for seniors?2020-05-15T14:10:35-07:00

Trump’s ElderCare Plan for Seniors

Republican Presidential nominee, Donald J Trump, was voted as the President-elect of the United States of America on November 8th. The 306 electoral votes tipped in favor of Trump, and Election Day saw both the House and Senate win Republican Party majorities. On November 10th, Trump met with current United States President, Barack Obama, to discuss a peaceful transition of power.

Campaign Promises

January of 2017 will mark the President-elect officially assuming his position as the President of the United States. Though the news of his Presidency ignited national unrest and global discourse, Trump has continued to make plans to delineate his Cabinet choices. As of November 22nd, President-elect Trump put forward an Executive schedule for his first 100 days in office. The plan outlines the basic social, economic, and political areas that citizens of the States can expect to experience change. Though Trump stuck by his campaign promises of building a wall across the Southern border with Mexico, and introducing developments in the economic system to produce more jobs, Trump also voiced his intended efforts to engage Congress in an attempt to repeal Obamacare and reform the health and insurance systems.

Throughout his 18-month campaign, Trump had consistently reinforced his intent to repeal the Obamacare system, which affects roughly 17 million American citizens today. Trump promises to implement a replacement Health Savings Accounts system; this would allow citizens to purchase health insurance across state lines and place Medicaid under greater state control.

His decisions to reform the existing healthcare system have been met with much opposition; nation-wide protesters argue against the idea of uprooting a functioning program without first establishing a solid and effective replacement scheme. However, the President-elect remains confident in the intended switch-over, promising that a new system will place greater power in the hands of the people and establish a fairer healthcare model.

ElderCare Act included in 100-Day Executive Plan

The 100-day Executive plan also outlines Trump’s ChildCare and ElderCare Acts. The ElderCare Act allows American citizens to deduct or eliminate eldercare from their taxes, in an attempt to reform the current taxation system in the States. Moreover, the ElderCare Act will work towards creating tax-free savings accounts for dependents and the elderly, with matching contributions for low-income families. These are the President-elect’s steps on introducing “fair and affordable” taxation and healthcare models.

To claim the anticipated tax benefits, families will need to ensure employment laws are fulfilled for their caregivers. Adultcare Assistance removes this burden, because the overtime requirements, employment taxes and worker’s compensation insurance are included as part of the service.  As a result, families are requesting that we become the employer of their private caregivers.

Medicaid and Social Security

Currently, seniors make up 46 million of America’s total population. With aspects such as ElderCare, Medicaid and health models undergoing alterations, senior citizens may see changes in the coming months.

As far as income tax is concerned, Trump has reiterated multiple times that a single tax filer with an adjusted gross income averaging below $25,000 would pay no taxes. Seniors may experience tax-free income, and this could likely change the dynamics of retirement and pension funds.  Regarding Social Security, the President-elect has made no clear statements apart from firmly stating he would not allow Social Security to be cut. All in all, keeping in mind Trump’s efforts to appeal to the wider base of senior citizens – a sizable chunk of which are reportedly his supporters – might mean decreased taxes and more affordable and accessible insurance and healthcare.

References:

Here Is What Donald Trump Wants To Do In His First 100 Days

What the Trump Presidency Means for Senior Citizens

The Affordable Care Act: How It Impacts Our Senior Population

Is home care covered by Medicare?2020-05-15T14:17:03-07:00

What Are Your Benefits?

Medicare coverage for caregiver services can be confusing because of the inconsistencies that seniors can experience.  Personal care services are typically not covered by Medicare.  Sometimes exceptions do occur, such as when Medicare provides a bath aid to patients during a nursing visit or therapy session.  This exception is typically short-term.

Understanding your benefits is important. Seniors may be eligible to receive assistance through Medicare, ALTCS, Long-Term Care Insurance or VA Benefits. Our senior advisers assist clients in identifying potential benefits for FREE. We look forward to hearing from you. Please call your local Adultcare Assistance Homecare office for more specific information.

Will health insurance cover home care?2020-05-15T14:22:07-07:00

Health and Long-Term Care Insurance Benefits

Both health and long-term care insurance companies classify home care expenses as either medical or non-medical.  Many seniors are learning the difference between the two when reaching out to us.  For this reason, Adultcare Assistance Homecare counselors are experienced at helping families maximize insurance benefits.

Personal caregivers are classified as non-medical home care.  Because of this, medical insurance does not typically cover services by a caregiver.

To better understand the health insurance policies, consider a doctor consulting with a patient being discharged from the hospital.  The doctor prescribes medication, makes a physical therapy referral and recommends a change in diet.  Medical Insurance will often cover the prescriptions and the physical therapy, but seldom is healthy food covered.  Although, appropriate diet and proper level of personal care are vital to recovery, both are classified as non-medical and not covered.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Some of our clients do have supplemental benefits through a long term care policy.  Long term care insurance typically does include provisions for personal private caregivers.  If you have any questions about your specific medical insurance or long term care policy, then please call our office and we can walk you through the process to maximize your health benefits.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHY CHOOSE ADULTCARE ASSISTANCE HOMECARE?