Tennessee pays for home health care for homebound seniors who require a nursing home level of care. Seniors can get support with the cost of home health care via Medicare and additional support is available via the TennCare CHOICES program that offers consumer-directed care options including personal care services, home modifications and access to respite care services.

Home health care services provide skilled nursing care plus help with the activities of daily living and day-to-day tasks such as cleaning and cooking. The average cost of these services in Tennessee is $24 per hour, which is slightly lower than the national average. Consumer-directed programs give seniors the opportunity to choose the care providers they use for each part of this service.

Medicare May Cover Some Home Health Care Costs

Medicare may cover some of the costs of home health care. For seniors to be eligible for this kind of support, they must be homebound and have been assessed by a doctor as requiring in-home health care. For the purposes of Medicare eligibility, homebound means that it is difficult for a person to leave home unassisted, and doing so requires some planning. Seniors can still attend a place of worship or travel to adult day health care services with assistance while being considered homebound.

Personal Care Services Are Not Covered By Medicare

While Medicare can help with the cost of medical care, it does not cover the personal care elements of home health care. TennCare offers help with this aspect of care for seniors who meet both the medical and financial eligibility criteria. The Tennessee OPTIONS program is a state-funded program that offers additional help for seniors who would otherwise struggle to remain in their own homes. Seniors can use this program to cover the cost of personal care services, home-delivered meals and personal emergency response systems.