At some point or another, many of us will either need to consider home health care for ourselves or for a loved one. Choosing home health care may be an easy choice for some, since it allows the person to remain in their own home and continue a certain level of autonomy while providing the attention and health care necessary. However, there are many other details included when it comes to implementing a home health care system.
One of the biggest issues is the cost of home health care and how to pay for it.
A common question is whether Medicaid pays for home care.
Run by the federal government, Medicaid is a health care assistance plan for those who have low income and limited access to resources to traditional medical care. Most states have their own program with differing requirements and rules.
Note that coverage includes a certain amount for deductibles, premiums and co-payments used in conjunction with Medicare, which is also a federal insurance program for those over the age of 65 and some disabilities and diseases.
Home Health Care
Home care usually funds through a sub-section of the program, called Home and Community Based Services, or HCBS.
HCBS programs offer some or all coverage for various home health care costs, such as physical therapy, nursing care, home assistance with cooking, laundry, cleaning and/or meal delivery, transportation to and from necessary doctor and other appointments, participation in an adult day service program, home modifications to add safety elements and medical equipment and supplies.
The program requires an application process, which generally goes as follows:
- Locate your local HCBS program and apply for home care assistance.
- The program will evaluate the need for home health care assistance and medical care to determine if the individual needs the home health care to avoid placement in a nursing home.
- Once the need for home health care is established, the program will look to determine whether the individual meets income and asset eligibility levels.
To begin the process and apply for home health care benefits, start by going to Benefits.gov and selecting your state. Then look for your state’s home page, where you can look for information about contacting the HCBS program to ask about applying and eligibility requirements.