Homecare and Long-Term Care Insurance

Posted on December 18, 2012


Long-Term Care insurance can help you stay in your home.

If you have long-term care insurance we can help you work through the processes involved in starting benefits for you or a loved one.

Most people buy long-term care insurance just so they can receive care in their own home.  There are approximately 7.6 million individuals who currently receive care at home because of acute illnesses, long-term health conditions, permanent disability or terminal illness.  By comparison, there are just over 1.8 million individuals in nursing homes.

If you are looking for a caregiver you should have a list of questions to ask each company you talk to.  This list of questions is from the American Association of Long Term Care Insurance and I think it hit’s all the big issues.  I have linked to their site below and I have put BrightStar’s answers in for you.

  1. How long has the agency been providing private duty home care?
    • BrightStar was founded in 2002
  2. Is a written, customized care plan developed in consultation with the client and family members, and is the plan updated as changes occur?
    • Yes, our Director of Nursing oversees a team of RN’s who complete a Plan of Care for every client, regardless of the level of care needed.  This Plan of Care is kept either in the home or with the patient in an institution and it guides every BrightStar caregiver.  This Plan of Care is updated whenever a change in condition or location occurs so our caregivers always know what is expected of them.
  3. How are emergencies handled after normal business hours?
    • BrightStar phones are answered by a BrightStar Employee 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.  We don’t use answering machines or answering services that tell you how important your call is, we answer the phone and tell you ourselves.
  4. Do they closely supervise the quality of care, including maintenance of a daily journal in the client’s home and non-scheduled supervisory visits?
    • All BrightStar caregivers are required to keep nursing notes in the home and then turn them into our office for review on a regular basis so we can look for patterns and issues that may not be obvious to a single caregiver.  Our RNs also do scheduled and unscheduled supervisory visits to ensure we are delivering care up to BrightStar standards.
  5. Does the agency employ a nurse, social worker, or other qualified professional to make regular visits to the client’s home?
    • BrightStar has a Director of Nursing who oversees all caregivers, CNAs, LVNs, RNs, Phlebotomists, and Therapists.
  6. Do they provide a written document that states the rights and responsibilities of the client, and explains the company’s privacy policy and code of ethics?
    • BrightStar provides all of this and more.  All our prices are stated up front as are your Rights and Responsibilities as a patient.  We also provide you with documentation about how BrightStar treats your personal and medical information to keep it private.
  7. Do they triple-screen their caregiver employees carefully, including use of reference checks, driving records and criminal background investigations?
    • BrightStar does more than this because we feel the three steps don’t go far enough.  Before we hire an employee we do reference checks, a 50 state background check, a driving records check and, we add a drug test.
  8. Does the agency mandate ongoing training of its employees to continually update their skills?
    • Someone once said “people do what you pay them to do.”  BrightStar of Downtown ties employee pay to their training level and we do it because we want them to be the best caregivers in the world.  We have over 40 courses for our caregivers that are available on-line.  We also have regularly scheduled in-service training and then training for special medical conditions.  We want you healthy and for that we need wise and educated caregivers.
  9. Does the agency manage all payroll and employee-related matters and adhere to state and federal guidelines in its employment practices, such as withholding appropriate taxes and providing workers’ compensation and other benefits?
    • Yes, and all caregivers are employees.  You don’t need to worry about insurance, taxes or liability.
  10. Do they also use independent contractors? If so, who employs the person and what type of background checks do they do on their employees?
    • Also, who pays the mandated taxes and withholdings?   Same answer as item 9.  We do not use caregivers who are independent contractors, they are all employees of BrightStar and  we pay all taxes and withholdings.

If you want additional information please give us a call at  832-730-1255.

If you, your loved one or their spouse is a veteran please check out our series on Veterans BenefitsVA benefits for veterans over 65: Basic PensionVA benefits for veterans over the age of 65: Housebound Pension and Aid and Attendance Pension

American Association for Long Term Care Insurance. (n.d.). The Ability To Remain In Your Own Home Is One Of The Greatest Benefits Of Owning Long-Term Care Insurance.