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If you are homebound and need health care–for example, if you were recently in the hospital for an operation–Medicare might pay for health care at home. Medicare-approved home health agencies can sometimes substitute for nursing homes, usually on a temporary basis while you recover.
Home health agencies give care in the home, as their name implies. People with medical conditions or disabilities sometimes get home health care services from these agencies, as an alternative to nursing home care. Services offered depend on the agency, but might include things like skilled nursing care, physical therapy, or home health aide services. Some agencies may also teach you (and your family or friends) how to care for yourself.
Your doctor or hospital discharge planner can guide you about whether you need care in the home, and where to get information about home health agencies. Many states offer limited home health services as well.
The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only. It should never be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. You should always consult with your medical provider regarding diagnosis or treatment for a health condition.
In some cases, Medicare pays for care at home through a Medicare-certified home health agency. To qualify, your doctor must certify that all of the following are true:
Your doctor must order these services for you. Be aware that the doctor might order different services, or more frequent services, than Medicare pays for. Ask your provider whether you would need to pay for any of the services he or she wants you to have.
Medicare doesn’t pay for all care in the home. For example, it doesn’t cover these services:
An increasing number of people are finding themselves in the position of caregivers. Caregivers may take care of parents, spouses, or children with special needs. They might help with food shopping and cooking; house-cleaning; paying bills; giving medicine; bathing, dressing, and other personal care; and providing company and emotional support.
There are other alternatives to home health agencies besides caregivers.
eHealth's Medicare website is operated by eHealthInsurance Services, Inc., a licensed health insurance agency doing business as eHealth. The purpose of this site is the solicitation of insurance. Contact may be made by an insurance agent/producer or insurance company. eHealth and Medicare supplement insurance plans are not connected with or endorsed by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. We offer plans from a number of insurance companies.