Home Health Care Insurance - Understanding the Options

Home Health Care Insurance – Understanding the Options

These days, more seniors are opting to stay home and receive care as long as possible.

However, paying for such care isn't such an easy decision. Long-term Care Insurance provides coverage for long-term care in a skilled nursing facility (SNF), and Medicare provides benefits for hospitalization as well as the first 100 days of care in a skilled nursing facility, but will only pay for Home Care under certain circumstances and for a specific period of time.

Supplemental health insurance may offer more coverage for Home Care scenarios, but not always. Home health care insurance is designed to provide living assistance and care for individuals with a variety of health care needs.

What Does in Home Care Offer?

Home care offers a multitude of services and benefits to the elderly, depending on need. Needs of the elderly are taken into consideration by individuals (usually from a Home Health care agency). Home Health aides as well as nurses provide medical services to the elderly in their home, which may include but is not limited to non-critical medical care and supervision, light housekeeping, companionship, errands, and shopping for the elderly.

home health care insurance

These aides or nurses may visit an elderly individual for a predetermined number of days each week to help with bathing, medication supervision, meal preparation, or respite care for family members.

Regardless of what is needed, agencies should be carefully screened and offer trained, certified and supervised staff.

Medicare only pays for Home Care under limited circumstances:

  • The individual's doctor must determine that medical care is needed at home, and create a care plan for such care.
  • The individual must need either speech language services, continued occupational therapy, physical therapy, or intermittent skilled nursing care.
  • The Home Care agency is Medicare-certified.
  • The individual must be home bound or unable to leave the property unassisted.

Home Health Care Insurance

Individual private health care insurance companies may or may not offer Home Care benefits to their policyholders. Some managed care Insurance plans offer a variety of help with Home Care costs, but only if such providers are Medicare-certified. Private insurance companies may pay for portions of Home Care costs, while others don't.

home health care insurance

Home Care policies offer payment on services not covered by either original insurance policies or Medicare. Supplemental insurance policies may also help to cover costs of medical equipment, specialized medical and nursing services, and upkeep and maintenance of a home.

Some long-term care Insurance policies offer Home Care benefits, but the elderly as well as caregivers of the elderly should carefully read all insurance policies for Home Health Care to determine limitations as well as benefits.

What To Look For

When looking for Home care or long-term care insurance, individuals should be especially diligent when determining inflation protection, benefits, duration of the policy, as well as elimination periods.

The elimination period is the amount of time that a person has to wait before a policy will start paying out benefits. In most cases, this may be up to 60 to 90 days. The duration of a policy determines the number of years a policy will be in effect. In most cases, Home Care and long-term care insurance plans purchased for anywhere between 3 to 6 years are adequate.

Inflation protection will take into consideration cost of living and inflation several years into the future.

Finding Help

Many seniors find that funding care is extremely difficult. Various organizations may be able to help, including community organizations such as the United Way. The Veteran's Administration covers care of veterans who are at least 50% disabled due to service-duty related conditions, and the Older Americans Act (OAA) provides Federal, state and local social service programs that may offer financial aid or services to eligible individuals as well.

Research care before it's needed. Education and information empowers seniors as well as their caregivers to make the best decisions regarding care and services in a variety of scenarios.

Discuss care options with current health care providers and determine eligibility and benefits. When in doubt, contact the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for information regarding their specifications and qualifications regarding Medicaid-certified Home Health Care agencies.

Discuss care options with a variety of private insurance providers, and research supplemental health insurance programs and policies with a variety of insurance providers to better determine need, benefits, and costs of such services for your parent.

Senior Insurance

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