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How Long Does Medicare Pay For Home Health Care

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Will Medicare Cover Physical Occupational And Speech Therapy

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Medicare will pay for physical therapy when its required to help patients regain movement or strength following an injury or illness. Similarly, it will pay for occupational therapy to restore functionality and speech pathology to help patients regain the ability to communicate.

However, Medicare will only pay for these services if the patients condition is expected to improve in a reasonable, predictable amount of time, and if the patient truly needs a skilled therapist to administer a maintenance program to treat the injury or illness at hand.

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 are available, what services arent covered, who is eligible, and what costs you can expect to incur.

What Kind Of Medicare Coverage Is Best If You Need Home Health Aides

Home health aide services are covered under Medicare Part A, long as you qualify for home health services and require the services of another skilled professional. Your copay for home health aide services provided within the limits set by Medicare is $0. You can receive your services from any Medicare-approved home health agency.

If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan instead of Original Medicare, your requirements and coverage for home health aide services are the same. Home health aide services are a Medicare-covered service under Part A, so Medicare Advantage Plans must offer the same coverage as Original Medicare. Your Medicare Advantage Plan may require you to receive home health care services from an in-network home health agency, and a copay or coinsurance may apply, depending on your plan.

If you receive your Medicare benefits through a Medicare health plan , contact your plan to find out how it provides your Medicare-covered home health benefits.

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How To Get Approved For In

There are a handful of steps and qualifications you need to meet to have your in-home care covered by Medicare. It starts with the type of help your doctor says you or your loved one needs and includes other aspects of care.

You cant simply decide that you prefer your nursing care and other therapy needs in your home. You must meet the qualifications for in-home care, and they include the following:

You must be under the care of a doctor:

The primary step in getting approved for in-home care is that you and the nursing plan must be under the care of a Medicare-approved doctor. This doesnt mean that the doctor will be at every visit. A home health nurse specialist will administer your plan, which your will create and regularly review.

Youre homebound:

This is when youre unable to leave your house for treatment. Homebound patients require assistance from a person or piece of durable medical equipment such as a walker or wheelchair to get around the home or to get to services outside the home. Immobile people are considered homebound as well. A doctor can deem that youre homebound if he or she believes that your illness or condition could get worse if you left the home.

You doctor certifies that you need home care:

You dont need round-the-clock care:

Your in-home care comes from an approved home health agency:


What Home Health Aide Services Are Covered By Medicare

How Long Does Medicare Pay For Long Term Care?

Original Medicare generally only covers home health aide services such as skilled nursing care, occupational or physical therapy, or speech-language pathology services. If you only need home health aide services for help with bathing, dressing, and other activities of daily living , Original Medicare typically doesnt cover those services.

For example, lets say your doctor arranges for home nursing and physical therapy visits to help you recover from a stroke. Medicare may cover part-time, intermittent home health aide services if your doctor believes they are medically necessary for your treatment plan.

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When Does Medicare Not Cover In

In most cases, Medicare doesnt cover these types of in-home health care.

  • Home health aides, when the only care you need is custodial. That means you need help bathing, dressing, and/or using the bathroom.
  • In-home meals
  • Round-the-clock care
  • Homemaker services, like cleaning, laundry, and shopping. If these services arent in your care plan, and theyre the only care you need, theyre generally not covered.

Its important to know that just because your doctor might recommend home health care, Medicare doesnt automatically cover it. It depends on your situation.

Need Home Health Care Dont Count On Medicare

When will Medicare cover your home care? For Medicare to cover your care at home, you must receive your home health care from a Medicare-certified home health agency and meet the following three additional conditions:

  • You must need skilled nursing or therapy services on an intermittent basis, as little as once every 60 days or daily for a finite and predictable period, usually no more than a few weeks. Skilled nursing includes observation and assessment, catheter changes and wound care. Skilled therapy includes physical, speech and occupational therapy, both to improve your condition and to maintain your condition.
  • You must be homebound, which means that leaving home requires a considerable and taxing effort.
  • Your doctor must certify your need for home care and sign off on your plan of care.
  • What does Medicare cover? If you qualify for Medicare-covered home care, in addition to paying the full cost of skilled services, Medicare pays for a limited number of hours of home health aide services to help with bathing, dressing, feeding, toileting and transferring. Medicare covers the cost in full patients have no deductibles or copays. Note: Medicare does not pay for home health aide services if you do not need skilled services. Medicare also sometimes pays for medical social services, if needed and ordered by your treating physician, and durable medical equipment.

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    Pros And Cons Of Home Health Care

    The benefits of properly administered home health care can be enormous. The fact that Medicare will pay for an unlimited number of home health care visits with no copayments makes home care a very good financial value compared to recovery in a hospital or nursing facilityin addition to the recuperative benefits of being at home.

    Being in your own home or even that of a friend or relative is often more conducive to a speedy recovery than the impersonal and sometimes frightening environment of a hospital. You have familiar things around you, your friends and family can come and go without worrying about “visiting hours,” and they can lend a hand with your care. You have greater privacy and are free from dreadful hospital routines and late-night noise and lights.

    On the other hand, home health care is not always the best solution. Hospitals sometimes push people out the door before they are well or strong enough, and as a result the people may take longer to recover at home, or suffer more pain and discomfort at home, than they would have if they had remained in the hospital just a few days more. This is particularly true when a patient does not have family or friends available to supplement the care provided by a home care agency.

    Who Can Receive Home Care Covered By Medicare

    How Long Will Medicare Pay for the Nursing Home

    Individuals must have coverage through Medicare Part A and/or Medicare Part B and meet the following four criteria as set forth by

  • Eligible recipients must be under the care of a doctor. The doctor must prescribe a plan of care that involves medically necessary services for the treatment or maintenance of a health condition. This care is intended to be short term, so the doctor is required to re-certify the plan of care every 60 days.
  • Eligible recipients must be certified by a doctor as homebound. This means it requires a considerable and taxing effort to leave the home because of reliance on a mobility aid , special transportation, or the assistance of another person to do so. An individual does not have to be bedridden to be considered homebound and can still qualify even if they are able to leave home for medical treatments, adult day care, and short, infrequent nonmedical outings, such as religious services and family gatherings.
  • Eligible recipients must have a doctors certification of need for at least one of the following services:
  • Home health care services must be provided by a Medicare-certified home health care agency.
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    Who Is Eligible For In

    In order to access the available home health care services, you will need to have Medicare Part A and/or Part B. In addition, you need to meet the following conditions:

    • You must be under the care of a registered doctor, and your case must be reviewed regularly by your doctor.
    • Your doctor must certify that you need skilled nursing care or therapy.
    • You must require physical, occupational, or speech therapy for a limited period of time.
    • You must be housebound, meaning that you are unable to leave home without considerable effort or support.
    • You must have certification from a doctor that you are housebound following a documented encounter with your doctor no more than 90 days before or 30 days after your home health care starts.
    • You are under an established plan of care from your doctor that is reviewed regularly and includes what services are needed, how often they are needed, who will provide them, what supplies are required, and what results are expected.
    • You must only require part-time skilled nursing .
    • The home health agency providing care must be Medicare certified.

    You will not be eligible for home health benefits if you require more than intermittent skilled nursing care. However, you may leave your home for medical treatment for short outings such as religious services. You will still be eligible if you attend adult daycare.

    For more on who qualifies for services, have a look at Medicares website.

    How Much Does Medicare Pay For Home Health Care

    The average hourly cost of home health care in Arizona is $23.25, and it is normally less expensive than the care you would receive in a hospital or skilled nursing facility. Statewide, the cost of non-medical home care ranges from $16 $28 per hour. Medicare covers 100% for skilled health-care services as long as you are homebound.

    However, Medicare wont cover for home aides that help with household services and personal care . Also, Medicare doesnt cover long-term care for conditions like Alzheimers or cancer.

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    How Do I Qualify For Medicare Home Health Care

    Medicare has several requirements to cover home health aide services and other home health care:

    • Your doctor must write a formal treatment plan specifying the home health services you need and certifying that you need the services to improve or maintain your condition. This is usually done in consultation with the home health agency that will be treating you.
    • You must be certified by your doctor as homebound, which means you are unable to leave home without assistance or special transportation. Medicare may consider you homebound if leaving the house requires considerable and taxing effort.
    • Your doctor must monitor the services you receive at home.
    • Your home health agency must be approved by Medicare.

    If you meet all of the above requirements, Medicare may cover part-time, intermittent home health aide services for up to 21 days. Medicare generally covers fewer than seven days a week of home health aide visits, and fewer than eight hours of care per visit.

    If you need full-time, daily home health care, Medicare Part A and Part B might not cover it. The Medicare home health care benefit is only for intermittent, part-time services for less than 21 days. A Medicare Advantage plan might cover some home health care as described later in this article.

    Improve Medicare For All Beneficiaries

    Does Medicare Pay for Long

    Medicare is extremely popular, but it needs attention to ensure all beneficiaries receive comprehensive coverage and equitable treatment. The Medicare program that Americans know and cherish has been allowed to wither. Traditional Medicare, preferred by most beneficiaries, has not been improved in years, yet private Medicare Advantage plans have been repeatedly bolstered. Its time to build a better Medicare for all those who rely on it now, and will in the future.

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    Does Medicare Cover Unskilled Home Care Services

    Medicare will not pay for unskilled home care if those are the only services needed. Personal home care services or homemaker services will only be covered if they are part of the skilled services detailed in the care plan. Medicare does not cover around-the-clock home care of any kind or meals delivered to the home.

    When Medicare Will Cover Home Health Care

    For your home heath care to be covered by Medicare, your situation must meet this list of requirements.

    • Your doctor must have prescribed home health care for you.
    • You must require part-time skilled nursing care or physical, speech, or occupational therapy.
    • The home health care must be provided by a Medicare-approved agency.
    • You must be confined to your home by an injury, illness, or other medical condition.
    • Your doctor must help set up a care plan in cooperation with the home health care agency.

    Medicare sometimes used to also require that your condition be expected to improve with home health care, but a recent change allows you to qualify for home health care just to maintain your condition or to slow deterioration of your condition.

    If you require full-time nursing care, Medicare will not approve home health care, but it could cover a skilled nursing facility. For more information, see our article on Medicare coverage for skilled nursing care.

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    Can You Be On Hospice For Years

    The term Hospice is care that lasts a year if you have six months or less to live means it will be available to people who suffer from cancer or severe cognitive problems. It is unfortunate that most hospices do not provide patients with hospice care by the end of their lives this delay deprives them of valuable time and care they needed.

    Does Medicare Cover Home Instead

    Does Medicare Pay for Nursing Home Care

    Home instead is a private company that provides senior care services to help with a variety of issues. The costs for Home Instead care vary some insurance covers home care, Medicare doesnt.

    However, if there is a medical need for care, Medicare will pay for services at home. Medicare wont cover things like live-in caregivers, visiting angels, or other custodial services.

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    How Does Medicare Cover Home Health Care

    Medicare Part A and/or Part B may cover home health aides if your doctor orders this care for you and determines that its medically necessary. Usually Medicare wont cover a full-time, long-term home health aide. The care must be part-time and provided from time to time not constant.

    Heres the kind of home health services Medicare may cover:

    • Part-time or intermittent home health aide
    • Part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care
    • Physical and/or occupational therapy
    • Certain durable medical equipment and supplies, in some cases

    What Kinds Of Home Health Services Does Medicare Cover

    Home health services are provided in your home versus in a hospital or skilled nursing facility. Home health care is less expensive and more convenient for you because it is provided in the comfort of your home. The goals of home health services are to:

    • Help you get better, regain your independence, and help you become as self-sufficient as possible
    • Maintain your current level of functioning, so your condition doesnt worsen
    • Slow your decline

    The kinds of Medicare-covered home health services you may receive include:

    • Part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care that can only be provided by a licensed nursing professional and to coordinate your plan of care
    • Physical therapy to help minimize pain and improve flexibility
    • Occupational therapy to help improve your ability to safely function and move around
    • Speech-language pathology to help with swallowing or speech
    • Medical social services to provide emotional and social support and help you access community resources
    • Part-time or intermittent home health aide services to provide personal hands-on care
    • Injectable osteoporosis drugs for women who have a bone fracture related to postmenopausal osteoporosis and who are unable to self-administer

    Here are the kinds of home health aide services you may receive :

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    Iii Medicare Coverage Of In

    When it comes to Medicare coverage of in-home care, it is crucial to distinguish between standard home care and home health care. Medicare does not cover any standard in-home care because it is considered custodial care rather than health care. However, Medicare does cover eligible home health care services, which we explore in more detail below. Furthermore, in some cases, Medicare may actually cover custodial in-home care if delivered with home health care services from the same provider. Ultimately, seniors and their families should be aware that theyre unlikely to get help from Medicare paying for regular in-home care, but may have at least some home health care services covered by Medicare.

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