In it’s simplest form it’s what it sounds like: someone who attends to, or pays attention to, you. When you’ve got the flu it’s good to have someone who will check on you, get you some medicine, and bring you something to drink when you want it. That’s what loved ones do. Now say you had a total knee replacement and cannot walk or stand for any meaningful length of time. And throw into the set of facts that you are single and live alone. You need someone to take care of you. There is no way your are going to heal if you are having to abuse yourself taking care of your every day activities. The adjuster needs to pay for attendant care. It’s part of getting you better just like therapy, medications, and surgery.
Let’s take this scenario a step further. Everything is the same except that you are married. What’s the adjuster going to do? In at least 99% of the thousands of cases we’ve handled the adjuster expects your spouse to take care of you. If that means he or she takes time off of work without pay or uses up vacation or Family Medical Leave Act time the adjuster doesn’t really mind. We think this is wrong. Just because you have family who loves you doesn’t mean the insurance company shouldn’t pay for your medical care.
Largely through the efforts of one insurance company – after losing a case in the Court of Appeals about attendant care – the 2011 laws placed strict regulations on attendant care. We’ve become adept at making sure our clients are in compliance with these new (and in our opinion unnecessary) rules. The key thing is that your doctor needs to document the need specifically, for a limited period of time, in advance of the surgery. If things are done correctly your loved one will be compensated for the services he or she provides. Keep in mind, though, that the compensation rate is what a home health aide would get paid – usually about $10.00 – even if that’s less than what your spouse makes on their job. Every little bit helps though.