7 Benefits to Attract and Retain Home Caregivers

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Caregiver Benefits

With the high competition for quality workers as many shifts occur in the US labor market following the COVID-19 pandemic, employers are finding themselves looking for ways to attract and retain quality employees with appealing benefits.

These benefits can come in the form of both paid and unpaid perks. We’ve included paid incentives because let’s face it, that’s often the most immediate need. However, cash isn’t always a top incentive and for employers that can’t afford to pay more, there are some creative ways to incentivize employees without digging into your bottom line.

72% of employees out of over 1,000 surveyed say that an improvement in work benefits would result in increased job satisfaction. The most valuable asset to any home agency is its caregivers. Benefits directly impact caregiver motivation and incentivize employees to increase productivity. Improved productivity can in turn lead to satisfied clients and business growth.

Increasing your retention rate for home caregivers is possible with an effective home care staffing system that fairly compensates employees with valuable benefits. The important word here is “value.” Internal and external research and surveys can help you determine what your caregivers value as an employee benefit.

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Labor


There are about 3.5 million fewer people in the June 2021 workforce relative to the February 2020 workforce. Now that the world is beginning to open back up, why aren’t workers rejoining the workforce? Many theorize the issue is that unemployment benefits are too high, but as state unemployment benefits spurred by the pandemic are starting to recede, employers may not see the change they anticipate.

The real issue, according to a recent Forbes story, might be a permanent change in our labor force with a shrinking US labor pool. With fewer workers available, employers don’t have the luxury of being able to choose from multiple candidates.

Employers are examining their benefits and pay schedules to remain competitive as Americans are looking for better labor conditions after working from home sparked a reassessment from many Americans.

We’ve compiled a list of 7 of the top benefits to sustain your employment and make your home care agency more competitive.

1. Holiday Leave, Sick Leave, and Time Off

Nike is one of the largest and most successful companies known around the world. The success of their company is often, in part, attributed to how they treat their employees by prioritizing paid time off as their second most important benefit. Time off and leave facilitates happy employees. While most companies don’t have the resources that Nike does, there are some things we can learn from their example.

In the home care industry, caregivers experience long days that can result in emotional and physical stressors. The vitality of clients relies heavily on well rested and recharged caregivers. While paid time off and paid sick leave are the most coveted benefits, employees also appreciate flexibility in scheduling and sometimes a shorter work week. Many companies are considering the benefits of a shorter work week in improving efficiency, reducing absenteeism and improving balance and loyalty.

Flexibility and time off show your employees that you value their wellness and desire to support balance in their lives.

2. Travel Reimbursement

Travel can take a toll on individuals and their vehicles and is inherently part of the job of being a home caregiver. This should be the top priority of reimbursement for caregivers to help meet the daily requirements of the commute to and from client’s homes

Efficient ways to pay travel Reimbursement

  • Research. The average to standard cost per mile. The IRS standard mileage rate for 2021, also known as the safe harbour rate, is 56 cents, down from 57.5 cents in 2020. Some of this was due to lower fuel rates during the pandemic and lower depreciation rates because of inventory shortages. This reimbursement benefit is valued because it’s often a tax-free benefit. The specific amount can be determined by your agency.
  • Stay Organized. Train your caregivers to keep a daily log and record of all trips they completed for their client. All mileage, notes, travel time, and expenses can be documented on the Caregiver Mobile App.
  • Set Guidelines. Have an effective system for accountability. You may want to set guidelines to ensure caregivers only log for their personal vehicle and retain screenshots of their mileage from their GPS.

3. 401(k) Matching/ Retirement Plans

401(k) matching demonstrates that you care and want to invest in your caregivers’ financial futures. 67% of people prefer a good 401(k) when evaluating a job offer and 46% say that offering a 401(k) match played a role in accepting a job. There are several benefits to providing 401(k) matching for employees:

  • Reduced hidden costs: If home agency staffing does not provide retirement plans, it can create a spiraling effect that could lead to longer employee hours. Longer hours cause more medical fees, call outs, and cause more absence without leave.Therefore, in the long term output is lower productivity.
  • Improved retention: preventing financial stress and improving the wellness of employee performance. Poor productivity can lead to higher employee turnover.
  • Employer tax deduction: matching 401(k) contributions benefits an agency with tax deductions that can be subtracted from your home care agency’s taxable income as well as providing employees with larger retirement funds.

4. Health and Life Insurance Plans (Medical, Vision, Dental)

Caregivers have close contact with their clients to often include contact with bodily fluids, exposure to illness, and challenging physical work to meet their needs while in their care. Health insurance is considered the top benefit for employee retention.

In the midst of the pandemic, this has become even more vital. Providing healthcare packages helps with the longevity of your caregivers being on the job. Additionally, employer-paid health insurance premiums are exempt from federal income and payroll taxes and the employee portion of premiums is typically excluded from taxable income.

5. Child Care/ DCAP

Caregivers with children younger than twelve will benefit from this resource the most. Home agencies could contract with a local child care program or provider to offer dependent care services or even negotiated rates and extended hours for caregivers. Due to a caregiver’s schedule, child care can be a point of stress and unreliable care could lead to absenteeism. This benefit could be paid or supplemented care, or an unpaid benefit that provides the resources to help facilitate the childcare search for parents. Showing you care about employee dependents increases loyalty and trust between the home agency and the caregivers.

Many states offer employers who provide child care services an annual tax credit if used with a qualified child care service. For more information, read more on subsidies.

6. Certification Trainings and Mental Health Check-ins

To facilitate business growth, employers invest in their people.Home care is an evolving field and caregiver certifications can benefit employees and clients.

Training and Certifications can include:

  • First Aid
  • Client Hygiene and Personal Care
  • Home Safety Training
  • Caring for a Hospice Client
  • Alzheimer’s/Dementia
  • Nutrition & Self Care
  • Understanding equipment (Wheelchairs, gait belts)
  • Understanding the Signs of Elder Abuse

Up to date training sessions are essential to ensure caregivers meet the needs of clients. AxisCare partners with CareAcademy to facilitate senior caregiver training to empower care professionals to improve the lives of clients.
Being a caregiver can be physically and mentally draining. Checking in on your employees’ mental health shows them that their overall health is a priority. Some ways to check in on mental health is to host events, speakers or themes and education around mental well being. Some ideas are hosting events like Wellness Wednesdays, Foodie Fridays, or Mindful Mondays. Taking time to focus on mental health will contribute to ensuring employees enjoy coming to work.

7. Education Reimbursement

Many college and graduate students work as caregivers. They are often working to pay for college tuition in addition to providing their basic housing needs. Education reimbursement can mutually benefit both agency owners and caregivers.

Home agencies can provide up to $5,250 in college tuition and books and the entire contribution is non-taxable. Caregivers are not taxed on this portion of compensation. This pay strategy can be planned out based on the minimum wage of your state and the goal amount for education reimbursement.

An example from Care.com for caregivers, suggests that instead of being paid wages of $15 per hour, an employee might offer $9 per hour (or whatever the state minimum wage is) and the difference in pay would go to to reimburse the employee for tuition and books, thus reducing the tax liability of both the employee and caregiver. This tax strategy can save your home agency money over time while helping a student caregiver reach their education goals.

Looking for more ideas?

These suggestions are some of the top benefits to attract caregivers. This list of 47 Ideas For Employee Benefits For Caregivers offers a more detailed list of benefits employers can offer.

After a particularly challenging period or to celebrate successes or holidays, show your caregivers appreciation with some of these incentives.

AxisCare provides home care agencies with a cost-effective scheduling and management software designed to ease your daily workload and manage your home care agency with confidence – allowing you to focus on providing quality care.

Wyoming

Supported: COMING SOON

Payers in Wyoming have selected CareBridge and AxisCare is completing the necessary development. We are planning on being fully compliant soon.


Illinois

Supported: YES

Illinois has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Illinois’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Minnesota

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state ‘s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with HHAeXchange, Minnesota’s chosen aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information directly to HHAeXchange. 

Michigan

Supported: YES

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has decided to go with an Open Model that allows providers to choose their own EVV system, as long as it meets federal EVV regulations. They are in the process of choosing an aggregator system that will accept data from all EVV systems.

AxisCare meets all state and federal EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management system.

Massachusetts

Supported: YES

Massachusetts has chosen an open model, but has not selected the aggregator.  AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution.  

Maryland

Supported: NOT AT THIS TIME

Maryland has chosen a closed model where AxisCare is currently not able to provide EVV data to the state.   Providers can choose to use AxisCare due to the many advantages but you must use ISAS to collect EVV required data.

 

Maine

Supported: YES

Maine has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Maine’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Louisiana

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state ‘s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with LaSRS, Louisiana’s chosen aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information directly to LaSRS. 

 

Kentucky

Supported: CONTACT US

Kentucky has chosen an open model with Tellus serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with Tellus for Kentucky yet (AxisCare supports Tellus integration in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

 

Kansas

Supported: NOT AT THIS TIME

Kansas has chosen a closed model where AxisCare is currently not able to provide EVV data to the state.   Providers can choose to use AxisCare due to the many advantages but you must use AuthentiCare to collect EVV required data.

 

Iowa

Supported: YES

Iowa has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, CareBridge) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with CareBridge, Iowa’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Indiana

Supported: YES

Indiana has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Indiana’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.


Idaho

Supported: YES

Idaho has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Idaho’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Missouri

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state’s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Missouri’s chosen aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.


Hawaii

Supported: YES

Hawaii has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Hawaii’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

 


Georgia

Supported: YES

Georgia has chosen to use an open vendor model in which the state sets the standards for EVV, and providers may either use their existing EVV system or choose one that best meets their needs.

AxisCare has developed a direct integration with Tellus, Georgia’s EVV aggregator, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution.

 

Alaska

Supported: CONTACT US

Alaska has chosen an open model with Therap serving as the aggregator.  Therap has not provided the detailed specifications yet, but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us.

Florida

Supported: YES

AxisCare currently provides direct integration with HHAeXchange and Tellus, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution.

 

Delaware

Supported: Coming Soon

Payers in Delaware have selected Sandata and AxisCare is completing the necessary development. We are planning on being fully compliant soon.

 

Connecticut

Supported: NOT AT THIS TIME

Connecticut has chosen a closed model where AxisCare is currently not able to provide EVV data to the state.  Providers can choose to use AxisCare due to the many advantages but you must use Sandata to collect EVV required data.

 


Colorado

Supported: YES

Colorado has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Colorado’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.


California

Supported: YES

California has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers and MCOs to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, California’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.


Arkansas

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed integrations with HHAeXchange, AuthentiCare, and CareBridge, Arkansas’ contracted aggregators, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Arizona

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state ‘s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Arizona’s chosen aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information directly to Sandata.

Mississippi

Supported: YES

The Mississippi Department of Medicaid has decided to go with an Open Model that allows providers to choose their own EVV system, as long as it meets federal EVV regulations. They are in the process of choosing an aggregator system that will accept data from all EVV systems.

AxisCare meets all state and federal EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management system.

Montana

Supported: YES

Montana has decided to go with an Open Model that allows providers to choose their own EVV system, as long as it meets federal EVV regulations. They are in the process of choosing an aggregator system that will accept data from all EVV systems.

AxisCare meets all state and federal EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management system.

Wisconsin

Supported: YES

Wisconsin has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Wisconsin’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Rhode Island

Supported: YES

Rhode Island has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Rhode Island’s contracted aggregator, which allows agencies to easily send required visit information.

West Virginia

Supported: CONTACT US

West Virginia has chosen an open model with HHAeXchange serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with HHAeXchange for West Virginia yet (AxisCare supports HHAeXchange integrations in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

Washington DC

Supported: CONTACT US

Washington DC has chosen an open model with Sandata serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with Sandata for DC yet (AxisCare supports Sandata integration in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

Washington

Supported: YES

Washington has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, ProviderOne) while allowing providers to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with ProviderOne, Washington’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

Virginia

Supported: YES

Virginia has chosen to use an open vendor model in which the state sets the standards for EVV, and providers may either use their existing EVV system or choose one that best meets their needs.

AxisCare has developed a direct integration with Tellus, Virginia’s EVV aggregator, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution.

Vermont

Supported: CONTACT US

Vermont has chosen an open model with Sandata serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with Sandata for Vermont yet (AxisCare supports Sandata integrations in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us.

Utah

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state’s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an export with UEVV, Utah’s aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information. 

Texas

Supported: CONTACT US

Texas has chosen an open model with TMHP serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with TMHP for Texas yet, but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us.

Tennessee

Supported: NOT AT THIS TIME

Tennessee has chosen a closed model where AxisCare is currently not able to provide EVV data to the state.   Providers can choose to use AxisCare due to the many advantages but you must use Sandata, Healthstar, and Time4Care to collect EVV required data.

South Dakota

Supported: CONTACT US

South Dakota has chosen an open model with Therap serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with Therap for South Dakota yet, but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

South Carolina

Supported: NOT AT THIS TIME

South Carolina has chosen a closed model where AxisCare is currently not able to provide EVV data to the state.   Providers can choose to use AxisCare due to the many advantages but you must use AuthentiCare to collect EVV required data.

Pennsylvania

Supported: YES

Pennsylvania has implemented an open model in which the state sets the standards for EVV, and providers may either use their existing EVV system or choose one that best meets their needs.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also integrated with Sandata and HHAeXchange, Pennsylvania’s two EVV aggregators, which allows agencies to easily send required visit information.

Nebraska

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state’s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Tellus, Nebraska’s chosen aggregator, which will allow agencies to send required visit information.

Oregon

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state’s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an export with eXPRS, Oregon’s aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information. 

Oklahoma

Supported: CONTACT US

Oklahoma has chosen an open model with AuthentiCare serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with AuthentiCare for Oklahoma yet (AxisCare supports AuthentiCare integrations in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

Ohio

Supported: YES

Ohio has chosen to implement an open vendor model in which the state selects a single aggregator (in this case, Sandata Technologies) while allowing providers to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with Sandata, Ohio’s contracted aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

North Dakota

Supported: CONTACT US

North Dakota has chosen an open model with Sandata serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with Sandata for North Dakota yet (AxisCare supports Sandata integrations in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

North Carolina

Supported: YES

North Carolina has implemented an open model in which the state sets the standards for EVV, and providers and MCOs may either use their existing EVV system or choose one that best meets their needs.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also integrated with Sandata, HHAeXchange, and CareBridge, North Carolina’s EVV aggregators, which allows agencies to easily send required visit information.

New York

Supported: YES

New York has implemented an open vendor model in which the state selects a single vendor while allowing providers to continue using their existing EVV systems as long as it meets federal EVV guidelines.

New York has chosen to work with three EVV aggregators: eMedNY, HHAeXchange and CareBridge.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have developed integrations eMedNY, HHAeXchange, and CareBridge which allow agencies to easily send required visit information.

New Mexico

Supported: NOT AT THIS TIME

New Mexico has chosen a closed model where AxisCare is currently not able to provide EVV data to the state.   Providers can choose to use AxisCare due to the many advantages but you must use AuthentiCare to collect EVV required data.

New Jersey

Supported: YES

New Jersey has implemented an open model in which the state sets the standards for EVV, and providers may either use their existing EVV system or choose one that best meets their needs.

AxisCare meets state EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also integrated with HHAeXchange and CareBridge, New Jersey’s two EVV aggregators, which will allow agencies to send required visit information.

New Hampshire

Supported: YES

New Hampshire has decided to go with an Open Model that allows providers to choose their own EVV system, as long as it meets federal EVV regulations. They are in the process of choosing an aggregator system that will accept data from all EVV systems.

AxisCare meets all state and federal EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management system.

Nevada

Supported: CONTACT US

Nevada has chosen an open model with AuthentiCare serving as the aggregator.  AxisCare has not developed the integration with AuthentiCare for Nevada yet (AxisCare supports AuthentiCare integration in other states), but if your organization is interested in using AxisCare, please contact us. 

Alabama

Supported: YES

AxisCare meets the state ‘s EVV requirements, so providers may continue to use AxisCare as their EVV and management solution. We have also developed an integration with HHAeXchange, Alabama’s chosen aggregator, which will allow agencies to easily send required visit information directly to HHAeXchange.