Paying for Home Health Care

Health care services are seen as the right of every citizen. But what about elderly individuals who want to be cared for at home? Who will foot their bill? Home health care can be paid for by the patient himself, his family, through public funding, or through private sources. Public third-party payers include Medicaid, Medicare, the Veterans Administration, the Older American Act, and the Social Services grant programs.

There are also community organizations such as the Alzheimer's Association and the American Cancer Society who can help elderly patients foot the home health care bill. Meanwhile, private third-party payers include managed care associations, workers' compensation, health insurance companies, and CHAMPUS. Inevitably, some people will fail to meet the criteria set by third-party payers. In these cases, patients would need to shoulder the cost of care themselves. Home care providers might be open to negotiation.

Medicaid - this program is administered by the state. It is joint federal-state assistance for low-income Americans. The eligibility requirements of each state vary; however, they are only required to give home health services to people who receive federally-assisted income (such as Social Security Income and Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Individuals who are "categorically needy" can also take advantage of this service. Categorically needy include individuals who are disabled, blind, or who live below federal poverty levels but with incomes that are too high for meet coverage.

Medicare - most Americans above the age of 65 are eligible to get Medicare assistance. If an individual wants to get home care services, he or she may get the services offered by a Medicare-certified agency. Depending on the medical condition of the patient, the agency may provide physical and occupational therapy, nursing, and HCA services. Patients can also get access to medical supplies. The referring physician needs to authorize home health care plan, and this needs to be re-certified every six months.

Older American Act (OAA) - it was enacted in 1965. OAA funds state and local social programs that are designed to help older individuals remain independent. This federal funding covers personal care, HCA, chore, meal deliver, and even shopping services for elderly people who need it most. A person must be at least 60 years old to quality.

Veterans Administration - veterans who sustained service-related injuries and are at least 50% disable will get coverage from the Veterans Administration. A physician will authorize the services; it will be delivered through the agency's home care units.

Social Services Grant Programs - every year, a state will get block grants from the federal government. This will fund state-identified social requirements. A portion of the funding will be allotted for programs that provide chore worker services and HCA to elderly individuals.

For individuals who have commercial insurance coverage, their coverage varies. Most policies offer a certain level of home care services for people with acute needs. However, a lot of individuals encounter problems with longer-term services. In Purchasing Medigap insurance would offer comprehensive home care services.


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