Does Medicare cover home health care?

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Home health care can be expensive without insurance. Many people with Medicare plans often wonder if Medicare covers skilled nursing care and other home health care services that they might need in the event of an injury or illness.

The short answer is yes, Medicare covers some home health care expenses for a limited amount of time.

The home health care coverage on Medicare is designed for situations when you need medical assistance while recovering from a temporary illness or injury. It does not cover long term care.

For example, under Medicare Part A, skilled nursing care can be provided for no more than 21 days. This may be sufficient if you are recovering from surgery or a temporary illness, but it’s important to understand that these Medicare benefits will not cover chronic illnesses that require ongoing care.

What qualifies as home health care?

Home health care includes a wide range of services:

  • Skilled nursing care (injections, wound dressing, changing catheters, etc.)
  • Therapy (physical, occupational, speech)
  • Personal care (dressing, hygiene, bathing, meal preparation, etc.)
  • Medical social services (counseling, transportation services, etc.)

In order for these services to be covered on your Medicare plan, your doctor must order specific home health care services for you. You must make sure that you are receiving care from a Medicare-certified home health agency. In order to receive care, you must also meet face-to-face with your healthcare provider so they can confirm that you need home health care.

It’s important to note that Medicare does not cover personal care services like bathing, toileting and dressing if you do not require any skilled medical care. In order to qualify for Medicare home health coverage, your injury or illness must be severe enough to require some form of skilled medical care.

Conclusion

Medicare can be an effective way to pay for home health care if you are recovering from a temporary condition. However, the benefits are limited and they do not cover long term care.

The US Administration on Aging estimates that 70% of people turning 65 years old will need some form of long term care as they age.

It’s important to have a plan to cover long term care expenses, and since Medicare does not offer this coverage, people turn to long term care insurance, or they self-insure if they have the assets to do so.

At Hybrid Policy Advisor, we specialize in providing hybrid life insurance policies that include long term care benefits that you can access if you are diagnosed with a chronic illness. Hybrid policies are a great way to secure long term care coverage because:

  1. The premiums are guaranteed.
  2. If you never use the chronic illness benefits, the full death benefit will be paid to beneficiaries.

To learn more about hybrid long term care insurance, give us a call at 1-866-365-6558. We will work with you to find the solution that is best for you and your family.

More information: Medicare - Home Health Services