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Medicare Benefits For Home Health Care

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4 Seniors: Does Medicare cover home health care?

Everyone needs a little extra help sometimes. Thats especially true if youre dealing with a serious medical condition or recovering from a procedure. For example, maybe youre finding it hard to manage your medications or personal care. Or perhaps standing for long periods of time to cook a healthy meal or take care of necessities around the house is simply too much right now.

If that sounds familiar, an extra set of hands might be just what the doctor ordered and thats where a home health aide can help. A home health aide is someone who can help you with non-skilled care in the comfort of your own home. In other words, they can help you with day-to-day living activities. But not with services a health care worker like a nurse or physical therapist offers.

Best of all, a home health aide may be covered by your plan, provided you have a doctor or hospital order and plan of care. Heres what you need to know.

Whos eligible for a home health aide

You may be able to get a temporary home health aide if you meet all the following qualifications:1

Home health aides through Medicare are approved for only up to 21 days. If you need longer-term care, then you may be eligible for a home health aide through your state via a Medicaid waiver, says Nicole Wolf, RN, manager of Clinical Health Services at Aetna®. Your hospital, doctor or insurance case manager can help you find out if you qualify.

What to expect during your in-home visits

  • Give you medications

How Do Medigap Plans Cover Home Health Care

Medigap plans are designed to cover the 20% coinsurance left over after Medicare pays 80% of approved charges. But because Medicare covers home health care in full, there is no coinsurance to file with a Medigap plan.

However, if you need durable medical equipment such as a wheelchair or walker while receiving home care, those charges are billed separately and subject to the Medicare Part B deductible and coinsurance. If you have Medigap coverage, you pay the deductible and submit the 20% coinsurance charges to your Medigap plan for payment. Most Medigap policies cover your cost in full, but benefits vary by plan.

What Part Of Medicare Covers Home Health Care

Coverage can be complicated, so make sure you know the basics about Medicare home health care:

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How Long Will Medicare Pay For Home Health Care

Medicare will pay for home health care for the duration of time your doctor says you need the care. Its common to wonder, does Medicare cover home health care, and for how long? Generally, your care is required to be on a part-time or intermittent basis. Medicare defines this requirement as:

  • Fewer than 8 hours a day.
  • Fewer than 28 hours per week.

Medicare may approve more care when its recommended and planned for by your doctor.

  • Medicare recertifies your eligibility for these benefits every 60 days.
  • Your eligibility is assessed every 30 days if you receive therapy.
  • If your provider deems your treatment effective, you can receive another 30 days

Medicare Home Health Care Exclusions

Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage

Medicare home health reimbursement is subject to certain exclusions. Medicare does not cover all home health services. Exclusions include:

  • Personal care services without the need for skilled nursing care like bathing or using the bathroom
  • Household services like cleaning, shopping, or laundry
  • 24-hour nursing care

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How Long Does Medicare Pay For Home Health Care

Medicare will pay for your in-home care for as long as your doctor deems the services necessary and you meet the eligibility criteria.

Home health services like skilled nursing and health aide services are only covered on a part-time or intermittent basis. This means Medicare will only pay for these services for up to a maximum of 8 hours per day and no more than 28 hours weekly.

When It Comes To Extended Home Health Care Also Called Long

Instead of focused medical treatment to improve a specific illness or injury, extended home health care helps people to stay at home while living as independently as possible the alternative being a long-term care facility, such as a nursing home.

With long-term care, the ideal is to maintain your highest level of ability and help you learn to live with your illness or disability.

On the other hand, with short-term home care, the main goal is to get better and restore your self-sufficiency as soon as possible.

Original Medicare Parts A and B will not pay for long-term or extended home health care.

Now that we know whats covered and whats not, what do you actually have to pay for home health care?

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Home Health Services Can Only Begin After Talking To Your Doctor

First, you must have either Medicare Part A or Part B. If you are unsure whether you have them, or whether youre able to get them, dont worry we can help.

Second, your doctor must determine whether you are unable to leave home without assistance, or taxing effort to do so. Talk with your doctor if you or your loved one is struggling with this your doctor is your main advocate for setting up medical care at home.

Third, your doctor must create a plan of care which outlines both how and when you will receive specific medical services at home over a specific period of time to treat a specific condition. This plan is created by your doctor after confirming that you need of at least one of the following types of care:

  • Skilled nursing care
  • Speech-language therapy
  • Occupational therapy

Fourth, and lastly, your doctor must help to connect you with a home health agency that is approved by the Medicare program. Home health agencies are Medicare-certified organizations responsible for providing medical supplies and staff services that your doctor coordinates in your plan of care. You have a choice of which agency, as long as it is Medicare-approved.

When all four of those conditions are met, home health care can begin. But what does it truly include?

Does Medicare Cover In

Medicare and Your CalPERS Health Benefits

Medicare is the health insurance of choice for nearly 20% of Americans, covering more than 63 million older adults. Depending on the plan, Medicare covers a wide variety of services from doctors visits to prescription drugs, but many seniors may require in-home care or home health care at some point during their coverage periodand many are left wondering if Medicare covers this important service.

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Eligibility For Medicare Home Health Care

Anyone with Original Medicare can be covered for in-home health care, but you must meet the following criteria to qualify:

  • You must be under the care of a doctor, and the doctor must certify that you are homebound.
  • You must be getting services that are prescribed and reviewed regularly by a doctor.
  • A doctor must deem it necessary for you to receive skilled nursing care or professional therapy services.
  • Medicare Has Special Rules Defining Which Services That Home Caregivers Provide

    When you need medical care at home, there may be domestic or hygiene-related necessities that surround that care. Medicare can also cover these home health aide services, but what are they?

    Home health aides provide unskilled custodial care to help with activities of daily living like dressing, bathing, eating, taking medications, or using the toilet. Needing assistance with these hygiene and domestic routines often comes along with complex health issues that make skilled home health care services necessary.

    Its important to know that if hygiene or domestic maintenance is the only home care you need, then Medicare will not cover it.

    The plan of care made by your doctor must identify that you need care that can only be given by a skilled, licensed visiting nurse. Only then can it be coupled with custodial home health aide care.

    Along the way to recovery, home care can also include certain types of medical social services. These services aid treatment and reduce recovery time such as counseling, stress management, and help finding community resources.

    If youre concerned about getting the Medicare coverage you need for home health care services, reach out to our agents at . Were happy to answer all of your Medicare insurance related questions!

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    What Does Medicare Cover For Home Health Care In The Us

    If youre looking for an answer to the question, what does Medicare cover for home health care in America?, youve probably typed it into google and immediately closed the tab. The volume of information and the level of detail can quickly become confusing and overwhelming .

    Weve broken this important query down into a series of frequently asked questions, looking at what home health services can be offered by a home health agency, what services arent covered, and who is eligible.

    If youre a health professional exploring the idea of establishing a home health agency or are trying to determine which services you can and cant offer, this article will help.

    Which Types Of Home Health Care Does Medicare Cover

    Taking advantage of Medicare

    Home health care coverage can fall under either Medicare Part A or Part B, depending on the reason that home health care is needed.

    For example, if you need home health care that results from hospitalization, that would be covered under Medicare Part A , she says. If you need home health care due to a medical issue, such as diabetes, then that would be covered under Part B .

    Finding the Medicare coverage plan thatâs right for your life and budget doesnât have to be overwhelming â eHealth is here to help. Get started now.

    Medicare will cover home health care services and products such as:

    • Physical therapy, which can help treat injuries or diseases that have interfered with your ability to function day to day
    • Occupational therapy, which helps you perform daily living activities such as dressing or bathing
    • Speech-language services, which help you regain and strengthen your speech and language skills as well as swallowing abilities
    • Injectable osteoporosis medications for women
    • Durable medical equipment, including wheelchairs, walkers, and nebulizers
    • Medical supplies for use at home

    Medicare also covers some skilled nursing or health aide care, including:

    • Part-time skilled nursing care
    • Part-time home health aide care

    If you need these services, your doctor will typically order them for you. Then a Medicare-certified home health care agency will help coordinate your care.

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    What Home Health Care Isnt Covered By Medicare

    Medicare doesnât cover personal errands that arenât directly related to your care. These services include:

    • Grocery shopping
    • Cleaning the house

    Medicare also doesnât cover many long-lasting supplies. Home health care agencies usually donât use these types of items for your treatment. These supplies include:

    • Motorized stairway elevators

    Medicare doesnât cover prescription drugs as part of home care.

    What If I Dont Qualify For In

    If you need in-home care but you dont meet the criteria to be eligible through Medicare, you may have other options:

    • Check with your state to see if they have any aid programs your loved one is eligible to use.
    • Check any long-term care policies the senior owns to see if they cover in-home health care.
    • Investigate any programs offered by private social services organizations in your area.
    • Contact the seniors local religious community to see if they can provide help.
    • Consult with your doctor to see if any of the services like therapy can be provided in the office where Medicare might cover them.

    Medicare benefits and requirements can sometimes be confusing, so its important to understand what your loved one is eligible for before services start. Work closely with their physician to make sure you know whats being prescribed so you can understand any costs to the senior before a care plan is put into place.

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    What Are The Medicare Eligibility Requirements For Home Health Care

    Before receiving home health care, you must meet Medicares requirements for it to be medically necessary, says Lindsay Malzone, Medicare expert for Medigap.com. According to Malzone, the following conditions must be met to qualify for Medicare-covered home health care:

    • A doctor must certify that the patient is homebound.
    • Home health care must be deemed medically necessary.
    • A care plan must be established and regularly reviewed by a doctor.
    • The patient must use a Medicare-approved home health agency.

    Which Home Health Services Does Medicare Cover

    Medicare Care Compare Video Home Health (:15 Seconds)
    * Medicare coverage rules may change anytime. Please call us for the recent up to date coverages.

    Medicare covers many different home health care services as long as you are eligible for coverage under Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B. In this guide, the team from At Home Personal Care clarifies the different services and eligibility requirements so that you can make informed choices on the type of care you receive, and that best fits your needs and circumstances. First, lets discuss what home health care is covered by Medicare Parts A and B:

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    How Much Does Medicare Pay For Home Health Care

    Parts A and B will cover 100% of Medicare in-home care services if you qualify. Thats true of both Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Some Medicare Advantage plans may require a copayment, depending on the plan. Medicare home health care also covers 80% of Medicare-approved costs for durable medical equipment. Youll need to pay the Part B deductible first.

    How Medicare Pays For Home Health Care

    Medicare pays your Medicare-certified home health agency a single payment for the services you receive during the 30-day care. You can take advantage of more than one 30-day period of care. Payment for each 30 days-care is based on your condition and care needs. Getting treatment from a Medicare-certified home health agency can cut your expenses. A Medicare-certified home health agency agrees:

    • To be paid by Medicare
    • To accept only the amount Medicare approves

    Medicare home health benefits only pay for services offered by the home health agency. Other medical services, such as doctor visits or the need for equipment, are generally still covered by your other Medicare benefits.

    The Medicare website has a search and comparison tool that help you find certified home health agencies in your area. If you have Original Medicare , choosing any approved agency will work.

    Before you start receiving care, the agency must tell you, both verbally and in writing, whether some of the services they provide are covered by Medicare and what you will pay for them.

    You can consult our licensed insurance agents specializing in Medicare to find the Medicare plan that matches your needs.

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    Getting Home Health Services In Certain States

    If you live in Massachusetts, Michigan, Florida, Illinois, or Texas, you may be eligible for a Medicare demonstration program. Under this program, you can request a pre-claim review to let you know early on whether Medicare coverage will likely cover your home health services.

    If youâre a resident of one of these states, you might want to request a pre-claim review as soon as your doctor orders your home health care. This way, youâll know as soon as possible whether youâll be on the hook for any payments.

    Ready to get started? Find a plan that fits your budget and covers your doctor and prescription medications now.

    How Do I Choose A Home Health Agency

    How does Medicare home health care work and what type of Medicare home ...

    To organize your search, build a home health agency checklist to help narrow your options. You may want to ask, for example, if the agency accepts Medicare payment or offers the specific services you need. You can use the checklist on the Medicare.gov website or create your own based on your personal health needs and budget.

    Once you have your checklist ready, you can review home health agencies via the compare page on Medicare.gov. Click the home health services button to learn about providers near you, including quality ratings and contact information.

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    What Medicare Will Not Cover

    Medicare will not pay for a number of services sometimes provided as part of home health care, including:

    • drugs and biologicals administered at home
    • personal care by part-time home health aides if this is the only care you need
    • meals delivered to your home
    • housekeeping services, or
    • full-time nursing care.

    If you require durable medical equipment, such as a special bed or wheelchair, as part of your home care, Medicare will pay only 80% of the costs.

    For more information on Medicare coverage of home health care, read Medicare’s online publication Medicare and Home Health Care at .

    How Do I Find Medicare

    Medicare.gov has a search and comparison tool to help you find certified home health agencies in your area that Medicare covers.

    If you have coverage from a private Medicare Advantage plan, rather than original Medicare, you may have to use an agency that works with that Advantage plan. Talk with a Medicare Advantage plan representative about coverage details and requirements.

    Before you start receiving care, the agency should let you know, both verbally and in writing, of services provided that Medicare wont cover and what you can expect to pay for them.

    Keep in mind

    You may be able to get additional caregiving support through local and state programs, which may provide services such as adult day care programs, equipment, meal delivery, respite care for caregivers and transportation. You can find out more about programs in your area through your Area Agency on Aging. Type your zip code or city and state into the U.S. Administration on Agings Eldercare Locator or call 800-677-1116, to find contact information for your local agency and other resources.

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