Part of the concern that many people have when it comes to allowing a home health care agency to take care of their elderly relatives is how they will pay for it. Some people are much better equipped to handle their later years because they saved money or have some kind of a pension program that will allow them to pay for their own health care. However, others have to rely on income from family members or government agencies. This is why it's important to choose a home health care agency that can help you navigate the tricky waters of budgeting for elderly care.
The first important factor to take into consideration is speaking with the home health care agency to see if they can offer any support or advice about whether Medicare or Medicaid will pay for any portion of the person's care. There are so many variables to consider such as whether or not it will be considered long or short term care. Will it be rehabilitative (physical therapy or speech therapy) or medically necessary (care that must be provided by a Registered Nurse).
If the expenses do not fit into the Medicare services, than you may have out of pocket expenses. However these costs could also be paid for by long term insurance. Most people who need additional care or assistance (that isn't covered by Medicare) choose to hire a private pay home care provider, OR they move into an assisted living or nursing home.
Remember to consider the expenses from the agency as well. You can ask questions as to the their fees including if there are any additional costs for weekends, holidays or other business hours.
Another important consideration is who pays the worker's Social Security and whether or not the company provides worker's compensation just in case there is an injury in the home while the employee is providing care. You also want to understand their billing procedure and whether or not you pay the worker or the agency directly. They should also be able to tell you if the agency bills Medicare or any other insurance directly for the covered services.
When discussing the hours the home health care worker will work in the home, make sure you know whether or not there are a minimum number of hours or days per week that are required by the agency. In essence, you want to know if there are going to be any unexpected fees or extra charges that may come up.