3 Ways to Help You Pay for Home Healthcare


Short-term home healthcare visits by a nurse, therapist, or certified home health aide -- which typically follow a hospitalization, injury, or severe illness and are intended to help someone return to a stable condition -- are usually covered by Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, and private health insurance. For home healthcare that's not covered by any program or insurance, provided through a licensed home healthcare agency, expect the cost to run from $20 to more than $100 per hour, depending on location and the level of training of the care provider (nurse, physical therapist, or home health aide).

Note that home healthcare is different from long-term in-home care assistance that doesn't involve medical care. In-home nonmedical care -- to help someone with things like bathing, toileting, and other activities of daily living; or for companionship, security, or household tasks -- involves different costs and coverage possibilities.

There are many options to pay for your loved one's home healthcare. Here are some of them:

Look into public benefit programs

If your loved one is enrolled in Medicare (either original Part A and Part B or a Part C Medicare Advantage plan), Medicaid, or Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical benefits, any of these programs usually covers the full in home nursing care cost -- meaning there are no patient co-payments -- of short-term, doctor-prescribed home healthcare. This coverage lasts only until your loved one's medical condition has stabilized. Learn more about using public benefits to help pay for home healthcare.

SEE ALSO: Find In-Home Care Help Near You

Consider private insurance options

Private health insurance usually provides good coverage for short-term in home nursing care, though, your loved one may have to pay a patient co-payment. This coverage includes health insurance based on current employment (the patient's or spouse's) or retiree health insurance. Learn more about using private insurance to help pay for home healthcare.

Other options

It may happen that your loved one would like to continue home healthcare after public or private insurance will no longer cover it. If so, you may have to pay out of pocket. But there may also be care options other than agency-provided home healthcare for which your loved one is covered or that are less expensive for you to pay out of pocket. Learn more about exploring options for home healthcare.

Joseph L. Matthews

Joseph Matthews is an attorney and the author of numerous books, including Social Security, Medicare, and Government Pensions, Long-Term Care: How to Plan and Pay for It; How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim; and The Lawyer Who Blew up His Desk. See full bio

over 6 years ago, said...

There are many laws and regulations which a Home Health Care agency needs to obey. Make sure when choosing a company that it is reputable, licensed, and preferably also certified by The Joint Commission. It is public information available online to see the quality measures (outcome statistics) of various home health care agencies to compare one against another. You should expect everybody who comes into your home to wash their hands before doing anything else, to put their bag on a newspaper or other barrier, to wipe off their stethoscope and any other equipment with alcohol before and after using it on your body. A therapist may send out an assistant to make some routine visits, but beware if the licensed therapist does not perform supervisory visits at least every 30 days. A nursing visit should last at least 30 minutes and include a head to toe assessment (looking, listening, sometimes measuring) as well as a teaching point each visit that is relevant to the reason why the nurse is coming to the home.