What is In-Home Care?
In-home care refers to services that help you stay in your home. You may need in-home care if you:
- have a disability
- need to recuperate from an illness or surgery
- have difficulty caring for yourself or your home
There are three major categories of in-home care:
- Home health care – services provided by nurses, physical therapists, and occupational and speech therapists.
- Personal care – assistance with bathing, dressing, toileting, mobility, etc.
- Support services – housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation, etc.
Sometimes, one or more of these services are provided by the same agency. For instance, an aide from a home health care agency may provide personal care under a nurse’s supervision. In-home care providers are sometimes called companion aides, personal care aides, certified home health aides and nursing aides.
Who Provides In-Home Care?
Private home health care agencies, individual providers and the county provide in-home care. Sometimes, nurses, private geriatric care managers, or county social workers coordinate and supervise in-home care services.
Who Pays for In-Home Care?
This depends on the care you need, the type of insurance you have, and whether you are eligible for certain government programs.
- Private Pay and Insurance
People who use in-home care services often pay most of the cost themselves. However, some private health insurance and long-term care insurance policies cover certain in-home care services. Policies vary in their coverage.
Read your policy carefully. Contact your insurance company if you have questions. If you have coverage, be sure to ask the in-home care agency if they accept your insurance. Other questions to ask include:
- What services are covered?
- How long are services covered?
- What are the restrictions? (Prior hospitalization? Level of care?)
- Who must supervise the care?
- Government Programs
Medicare helps pay for home health care if you are a Medicare beneficiary only when a doctor certifies a plan that includes one or more of the following services:
- skilled nursing care
- physical therapy
- speech-language services
- occupational therapy
Additional requirements include:
- The agency must be Medicare-certified.
- You must be unable to leave your home without great difficulty.
Medicaid helps pay the cost of in-home care for eligible low-income people. Sometimes services are paid by a combination of Medicare and Medicaid.
If you think you may qualify for Medicaid, call them