October 6 2017
As senior citizens age, home health care is an important benefit of a retirement community. It provides a tremendous amount of comfort and convenience. But many senior citizens are on Medicare. Is it possible for the two to coexist?
What Is Home Health Care?
Home health care is health care that is provided to you out of the comfort of your own home with the intention of treating an illness or injury. It allows seniors to age and remain in place. Many retirement communities partner with a healthcare company for their residents, but residents are free to use any home health care company that they choose. Home health care can lead to quicker recovery times, helping senior citizens return to living an active and independent lifestyle.
How Does Medicare Impact Home Health Care?
For Medicare to cover your home health care services, you must meet four criteria.
1) You must be homebound; i.e., it is difficult for you to leave your home or it is harmful to your health to do so.
2) Skilled care is required. Even services that are on an intermittent basis, such as nursing care, can still meet the requirement of being “skilled care.” Skilled therapy services will also meet these criteria.
3) A doctor certifies that the above two criteria have been met and that your doctor will regularly review your plan of care. This certification will need to be submitted to Medicare for approval.
4) Your care is provided by a Medicare-certified home health agency.
Assuming you have Part A and/or Part B Medicare and meet the above conditions, then there is a good chance that your home health care services will be covered. This not only includes the services themselves, but also any medical supplies or durable medical equipment needed to treat you.