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How Much Are Companions and Home Health Aides Paid?

Home health aides and companions in private employment are employees of the family. Families are responsible for the handling of all payroll taxes and providing the aides a form W-2 at the end of the year. Click here for more information.

The median hourly earnings for home care aides and companions in private employment in 2007 was $10.03 gross (US Department of Labor: h The hourly rate is significantly higher in the Northeast, West and in major metropolitan areas. Employers in these areas should expect to pay between $12 - $15 per hour gross for companion care, and several dollars more per hour for trained home health aides. The more physically and emotionally demanding the position is, and the more medical training is required, generally the higher the wage to attract and retain the aide or companion. Home health aides who do not live in the family home are covered by minimun wage statues. There has been proposed legislation to extend minimun wage coverages to all home health aides and companions in the last several sessions of Congress and this area is very fluid. Currently, these live in positions are exempt from minimum wage if the 'domestic service' work (cooking. cleaning, housekeeping, laundry, shopping) accounts for no more than 20% of the compensated time.

Families who have long term care insurance for the disabled family member will find that some or all of the expenses of the aide may be reimbursed by insurance.

Some employers offer a full package of vacation and sick leave, health and life insurance, and a retirement plan. Others hire only "on-call" hourly workers, with no benefits. Employers who offer above average wage and/or benefits find that the issue of employee turnover is reduced, but never eliminated.