Does Medicare Cover Home Health Care For Elderly People?

If you’re an elderly patient with chronic health conditions or surgery who’d prefer to recuperate at home instead of hospital or assisted living facilities, medicare may cover home health care for elderly individuals – however there may be other payment options for this service as well.

Medicare, which offers health insurance to seniors 65 and over, offers limited home health care coverage through Parts A and B. To qualify, a doctor must certify you as homebound – meaning leaving home requires significant effort or is not advised due to illness, injury or medical condition.

Homebound is defined as having difficulty walking independently or needing the use of wheelchair, walker or crutches to get around. Your doctor must conduct a comprehensive physical exam to certify your need for skilled nursing, physical therapy and speech-language pathology services in your home setting; Medicare covers these as well as supplies like wound care management and counseling services.

Medicare’s home health care coverage is just the start. Many private and state long-term care programs also include benefits for homecare services, with some homecare agencies providing 24-hour home healthcare support to seniors needing intensive or extensive assistance; other organizations provide meal delivery, transportation and cleaning. Families may be able to find these types of services for less by researching options in their area and exploring discounts or special offers available in this regard.

Many seniors may hesitate to use their Medicare benefits for home health care because they do not realize that Medicare doesn’t cover every form of home assistance; specifically, custodial tasks like dishwashing or bathing. Medicare will only reimburse providers that offer more comprehensive assistance such as assistance with activities of daily living such as laundry or housework.

Medicare may help cover some non-medical needs for seniors, but most seniors require ongoing and comprehensive care. Families in such instances should explore “Medigap” policies which offer additional Medicare coverage with benefits specifically for home care services.

If you want to know more about your Medicare coverage and its relationship to home health care, take our free tool. Our advisors help 300,000 families every year navigate retirement; they’ll offer tailored options and recommendations based on your unique circumstances. Just click below!

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