Q: I may need some home care services for my father in the near future and I’m not sure where to start. Will Medicare or my insurance pay for these services?
A: That’s a great question. It’s wonderful that you’re looking into home care options now, before a preventable crisis occurs.
Unfortunately, Medicare and commercial insurance do not cover most private home care services. Medicare covers Medical or skilled home visits by Registered Nurses, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, Medical Social Workers and Certified Nursing Assistants for bath visits for a specific amount of time depending on patient diagnosis. Private home care provides assistance with ADLS. ADLs are “Activities of Daily Living” or personal care activities. They include: eating, bathing, dressing/ grooming, toileting, and transferring (getting up from a bed or chair). One of the major benefits of having private home care is the peace of mind that comes with knowing your father is being well taken care of and is safe while you go about your normal routine.
Assistance with Activities of Daily Living can be paid for three ways. One way is through private pay or out of pocket. Another way is through Veteran’s benefits. If your loved one (or their spouse) is a veteran you may want to contact the VA to inquire about their eligibility to receive private duty home care services. Finally, these services can be paid for is through long-term care insurance. Long –term care insurance can be purchased at any time with most making the purchase after age 40. This is when it is the most affordable. Long-term care insurance benefits can be accessed when assistance is needed with two or more Activities of Daily Living. Often times, those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia will not need to meet the number of ADL requirement in order to utilize their long-term care insurance benefits. Having long-term care insurance is a tremendous benefit to both the senior and their family because for the most part, the financial side of the senior’s care is taken care of. This lifts the burden and stress off everyone involved. Best of all, seniors are able to remain safely at home.