What's Covered and What's Not
Medicare covers therapy, both physical and occupational therapy plus speech language pathology services. It also covers counseling, certain medical supplies, durable medical equipment, as well as assistance with day-to-day activities like bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, and toilet activities. For most of the other medical equipment, Medicare will provide coverage of 80% of its cost.
On the other hand, Medicare will not cover 24-hour home care, delivering meals to your home, and services that are not related to health care like housekeeping. You will also be required to pay 20 per cent for medical equipment not covered fully by Medicare like wheel chairs, walker and oxygen tanks.
On Medigap and the Possibility of Larger Coverage
Medigap, a supplement to Medicare insurance, covers certain services that Medicare doesn't cover. This might just also be the solution to patients on home health care. When used together with a Medicare supplemental plan, Medigap Insurance allows the patient to enjoy a larger coverage in terms of health benefits.
More often than not, Medigap and Medicare can cover a substantial portion of the costs on home health care. Insurance companies offer a variety of Medigap policies (Plans A through L), but since each type comes with specific benefits, it is best to compare the highlights closely. For one, Medigap policies vary by cost, and many insurance companies require you to have both Medicare Parts A and B in order to purchase a supplemental plan (5).
For senior citizens with both Part A and Part B of Medicare insurance, their home health care situation is, by default, covered. Thus, they get to save 20 per cent of their pocket expenses on medical equipment.
The cost of home health care should not cost an arm and a leg especially with Medicare and Medigap Insurance just within reach. Just keep in mind what your Medicare (and Medigap) insurance benefits are.
Ask information from your physician, home care agency, and insurance officer at Medicare Supplemental Insurance center.