Photo of a stethoscope

7 Ways for Domestic Employers to Support a Worker’s Healthcare

Many employers of nannies, house cleaners or home attendants/caregivers want to provide healthcare coverage for their employees but don’t know how. 

Unfortunately, there is no law guaranteeing health coverage for privately employed domestic workers nor is there a specific health insurance program for them at this time.  However, there are ways you can support the person you employ to get health care.

Consider the following seven options:

  1. You can pay for their health insurance directly. There are some low-cost private insurance options for employers with as little as one employee.
  2. You can support the worker you employ to access the healthcare exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Through the ACA there are possibilities for coverage that can benefit some domestic workers— although undocumented immigrants will not qualify. 
  3. Many undocumented and low-income workers and their families can get primary care for minimal cost at community health centers. These federally funded centers are a good  point of access for everyone without healthcare coverage. You can find local health centers at the HRSA Data Warehouse.
  4. You can support the worker you employ to access health coverage through another subsidized source, such as Medicaid. Older adults may be able to access benefits through state-funded health insurance advocacy programs. Details on state programs can be found at this website.
  5. You can pay a stipend directly into a tax-free account.   A worker may want you to open an IRA account, Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement (ICHRA) or a Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA).  The funds paid to any of these accounts are non-taxable. 
  6. Create a fund in which you contribute $20 a week or $50-$100 month.  The worker can use that money to support their healthcare needs.
  7. You can pay for a set number of doctor’s visits or medical needs up to a specific amount.

Now that you know your options, think about which items on this list  work for you.  Then have a conversation with the worker in your home  about their preferences.  With consideration and clear communication, you can find a solution that works for you and your employee.