Does Medicare Cover Home Care Services? This is one of the most frequent questions we get, and we will try to clarify this for you here. For people over 65 years of age Medicare provides coverage for skilled services, meaning, any task or procedure that involves a nurse, a therapist, a social worker or a doctor, etc. However, Medicare does not provide appropriate coverage for what is called non-skilled services such as companionship and personal care services which are performed by Home Health Aides (HHA’s) and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA’s).
When your loved one is discharged from the hospital, it is possible that the doctor prescribes in-home therapy (physical, respiratory, occupational or speech) along with visits by a nurse to administer medicine or to take blood samples for lab tests. After discharge, families believe they have everything covered and hope for their loved one’s prompt recovery based on following discharge instructions; however, there’s much more involved in someone’s recovery than getting ‘treatments’. In this scenario, the therapist or the nurse will visit the patient for 45 minutes to 1 hour, perform their duties and go. However, recovery is a 24-hour process, 7 days a week. Recovery involves appropriate nutrition, personal hygiene, taking the medicine as prescribed and also requires companionship.
When your loved one is in recovery process after discharge but spends several hours a day alone, the best approach is to hire Home Care Services to make sure all aspects of recovery are covered. However, comprehensive Home Care services are not covered by Medicare and unless the patient has Long Term Care insurance, or qualifies for Medicaid or VA Home Care benefits, Home Care Services have to be paid out of pocket. So to answer the question, Does Medicare Cover Home Care Services? is no, but if you have the possibility in your budget to hire a Home Care Agency, search for an Agency willing to help you determine the type and length of care that best adjusts to that budget. Stay away from agencies that requires you to hire a minimum number of hours per day or per week. It is all about what you need and what you can afford, it is not about what the agency wants to sell.