Directly Hiring a Caregiver to Save Money? Know ALL the Risks and Costs Before Doing So. (Pt 2) By Dave Hildebrandt, Executive Director of MD Home Health/MD Home Assist
Another area of consideration in directly hiring consists of taxes and insurance. The IRS states that individual employers are liable for Social Security and unemployment taxes on the wages paid to a direct hire. If you are considered to have “willfully” failed to withhold these taxes, you will be liable for not only the taxes but interest on the amount of underpayment and civil fines of up to $100,000 as well as possible criminal penalties.
Now, how about insurance? What if the caregiver is injured on the job? Back strains and falls are very common with home care. Will your homeowner’s policy cover it, and if so, will the policy limits be sufficient? What if the caregiver causes your loved one a serious, life-threatening or fatal injury? Will they have malpractice insurance that will compensate you for the costs? And finally, if the caregiver should break or steal any of your personal property, will they have a bond to reimburse you for their replacement?
All of these concerns are very real. All of them can cost a family considerable amount of money and possibly even their lifetime savings should the worse occur. But most importantly, the safety and welfare of your loved one may be at risk unless you can insure that all these steps are followed before allowing a privately hired caregiver into your home. Sure, the costs and time commitment of performing all these steps is probably more than you ever imagined, but do you really want to cut corners when dealing with the health care of your love one?
When considering ALL the costs and risks associated with the hiring of a competent caregiver, it becomes obvious that directly hiring may not be the most prudent route to go. Your alternative to direct hire? Hire a reputable, experienced agency to assume all the costs and risks associated with hiring, training, taxes and insurance, thus allowing you to give 100% of your attention and support to your loved one with the goal of them getting better or at least reaching maximum comfort.
For more information about MD Home Health or MD Home Assist, rate quotes, or to schedule a free consultation, please contact us via: MD Home Health/MD Home Assist.