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Caring For The Family Caregivers

posted by AHIP

on November 12, 2018

Anyone who provides regular and unpaid care to a loved one is a family caregiver. With November officially proclaimed as National Family Caregivers Month, we’d like to take some time to recognize the wide range of essential care provided by caregivers.

There are nearly 66 million caregivers in the United States. These are relatives, friends, neighbors, support group members, or life partners who provide needed services to their family members and loved ones.

As more and more Baby Boomers begin to age, supporting the individuals who are responsible for caring for their loved ones is a priority for health insurance providers. We champion the efforts of the bicameral, bipartisan Assisting Caregivers Today (ACT) Caucus to ensure members of Congress are aware of issues facing family caregivers. Working together with a broad array of advocacy partners and stakeholders, the ACT Caucus will focus on formulating commonsense policy solutions to help make caregivers’ duties a little easier.

Health insurance providers are also taking several steps to offer support to these “silent patients,” including free nurse help-lines, comprehensive educational programs, DVDs, online resources, and incentives for preventative care services. These caregiving solutions are designed to help caregivers of all types, from those taking care of an aging parent to those caring for a child with a physical or mental illness. They also include information to connect caregivers with local, state, and national resources that may provide even more assistance.

Many health insurance providers provide comprehensive care coordination, chronic disease management, and medication-therapy management (MTM) services to patients who may also be receiving care from caregivers, which helps to relieve some of the stress a caregiver may face navigating the health care system. Health insurance providers recognize the burden of being a family caregiver increases the risk of physical and emotional problems, particularly depression, and are committed to helping caregivers access the information and support they need.