Medicare Home Care

Medicare Coverage of Home Care

By , Caring.com Expert
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Many people mistakenly believe that Medicare provides coverage for long-term home care. It doesn't.

Medicare covers only limited periods of skilled nursing care and therapy at home, and only if certain strict conditions are met. Still, Medicare's home care coverage can be vital if the person you're caring for has suffered a serious medical event that suddenly changes his or her condition. Medicare can pay for costly short-term, intensive home care, which can give you a chance to arrange for longer-term care if it's needed.

Medicare or Medicaid?

One of the reasons many people mistakenly believe that Medicare covers long-term home care is that they confuse Medicare with Medicaid, which is a completely separate program only available to people who have very low income and few assets other than their home. Unlike Medicare, Medicaid can cover long-term home care, the amount and frequency depending on the patient's needs.