Home health can be expensive – and many people find it confusing to navigate through the different payment options. Here are some of the most popular home care payment methods.

Medicare

Medicare covers intermittent, qualified home nursing, provided an individual meets all of the eligibility requirements. The services must be prescribed by a doctor and the person must be tied to the home.

What is considered homebound? As Johnson puts it, “It has to do with getting out of bed? Can you reasonably go to a doctor’s office or therapy clinic without putting yourself at risk? When a senior meets this definition of home reliance, Medicare pays the full amount, with almost no deductible, for qualified care from a home hospital. This insurance cover includes qualified care services such as wound care, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, medical social services and speech pathology.

As soon as a patient is no longer at home, he is no longer entitled to this cover. At this point, most people turn to private payments or long-term care insurance to cover the cost of their continued needs, Johnson says.

Medicare benefit

Medicare Advantage (Part C) offers plans for the elderly that cover unskilled nursing services, such as: B. Help with bathing and cooking. “But essentially you are still paying for it,” says Johnson, because these plans, which are sold by private insurance companies, come with different premiums, deductibles, and other payments. (There is usually a cash limit that the plans must adhere to.)

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you may also need to get your home health services from specific agencies. Call your plan provider to ask what you are eligible for and who can provide it.

Medicaid

Medicaid, the federal and state health insurance for people on low incomes, offers a variety of benefits. “Some states are very generous and have good Medicaid programs,” says Johnson. “Some states don’t.”

All Inclusive Care Programs for the Elderly (PACE)

PACE is a government program that provides medical and social services to frail seniors who are also eligible for Medicare and Medicaid benefits. It is designed for people who are at least 55 years old and would otherwise need care at the nursing home level.

PACE services include daycare, meals, nutritional counseling, transportation and physical therapy.

However, it is not available everywhere. “The big limitation of PACE is that it is not available in many countries,” said Jennifer L. FitzPatrick, a licensed clinical social worker, author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reduction the Stress of Caring for Your Loved One, and gerontology teacher. at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

For example, New Jersey has six PACE agencies, and you must live in their respective coverage areas to participate. To find out if there is a PACE program near you, visit npaonline.org.

care insurance

Long-term care insurance helps you prepare for care costs in old age. Every long-term care insurance is different, says FitzPatrick, but many help cover home health care.

“Some are really liberal, and you can use it for anything you want: assisted living, a nursing home, home care, adult daycare,” she says. “Then there are some who have limitations.”

Once you are approved for coverage, start paying the premiums. The policy will begin to pay out as soon as you are entitled to benefits based on criteria such as: B. not being able to carry out certain activities of daily living (ADLs) yourself.

Lots of people buy long-term care insurance at a young age, but FitzPatrick says it’s still worth checking out even if you’re in your sixties. “Don’t assume you won’t get it,” she says. It is important to read the policy carefully so that you know what it does and what it doesn’t.

Veteran support options

Veterans who have signed up for VA Healthcare can receive benefits that help pay for home care. There are certain eligibility requirements based on clinical criteria, and some veterans have a co-payment.

Home nursing is tailored to the needs of every veteran. A helper may visit several times a week or only occasionally to help with eating, getting dressed, bathing, grooming, or shopping.

The VA also offers online resources such as: Veteran’s decision-making aid for care at home or in the communitywho can help seniors decide whether home nursing is the right choice for them.

Tax deductions

There are valuable tax deductions that can help offset home nursing costs, says Kari Brummond, a tax advisor at TaxCure, a directory of tax debt experts.

According to Brummond, taxpayers can claim a deduction for medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of their adjusted gross income. You must use IRS Scheme A to list your deductions, which may include medical expenses for yourself, your spouse, or your loved ones.