Does Medicare Cover Home Health Care For Elderly?

Many older adults require assistance with daily tasks like bathing, dressing or going to the bathroom after being hospitalized due to illness, injury or chronic condition. Medicare offers home health care coverage for eligible seniors. Here’s everything you need to know about their home health coverage for elderly and how it works.

Medicare-approved home health agencies typically only cover skilled nursing and therapy services, while nonmedical assistance such as helping with bathing or dressing usually falls outside their coverage. Some states offer Medicaid waiver programs which offer expanded coverage including in-home personal care for qualifying seniors.

To be eligible for home healthcare services, your physician must certify it is medically necessary for you to receive them there. Furthermore, you must have been receiving regular plans of care that have been reviewed regularly from them as well as an approved home health agency with whom your physician has met face-to-face within certain timeframes and documented this interaction with them. Finally, to qualify as homebound, leaving home requires great effort or isn’t recommended at this point in time.

Medicare-approved home healthcare services for Medicare beneficiaries include wound care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology services and medical social services. Your needs may require home IV therapy and injections as well as diet guidance, medication management and patient education services. Your costs for home healthcare will depend on which plan you select as well as if a deductible exists. Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) covers part of your hospital bills and 20% after meeting your deductible for Medicare Part B (medical insurance). Many seniors enrolling in Medigap policies – private policies which supplement traditional Medicare coverage by filling in “gaps”) often find that any additional premiums they pay are worth it when it comes to accessing home healthcare they require.

Keep in mind, however, that Medicare-approved home healthcare cannot be obtained if you have not already been hospitalized. Furthermore, when planning ahead for long-term care needs it might be worthwhile investing in long-term care insurance plans, which tend to be affordable if applied for early. These policies could provide benefits which help cover home healthcare and eldercare costs later down the line.

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