Who pays for home care services

Who pays for home care services

February 10, 2023   523

Home Care Services: Who Pays and How?


Home Care services are long-term-care programs designed to help eligible elderly or disabled individuals remain safely at home, rather than in a nursing home. These services have different eligibility requirements and are paid for through a variety of sources.


Who Pays for Home Care Services?


Prolife Home care services provide essential support for elderly or disabled individuals who prefer to stay at home rather than move to a nursing facility. Understanding who pays for these services and what options are available is crucial for planning and managing care effectively.




Medicare offers coverage for medically necessary home health care under specific conditions. Eligible beneficiaries must be under a physician's care and receive services prescribed as part of a treatment plan. Coverage includes part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care, physical therapy, speech-language pathology services, and occupational therapy.


Key Points:

  • Eligibility: To qualify, patients must be homebound and require skilled services.
  • Coverage Limits: Services are generally covered for a limited time and must be re-certified by a doctor regularly.
  • Cost: While Medicare covers a substantial portion, patients might be responsible for co-payments or deductibles, particularly for durable medical equipment.




Medicaid extends more comprehensive home health benefits, subject to state-specific eligibility criteria primarily focusing on income and disability. Unlike Medicare, Medicaid can offer broader long-term support for home care.

Services Offered:

  • Consultations and Planning: Assistance with eligibility and application processes.
  • Extended Care Options: Coverage for additional services that Medicare may not cover, depending on the state.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Purchasing long-term care insurance can provide coverage for home care services. It's ideal to buy these policies well before home care services are needed—typically in one's mid-50s to 60s.


  • Policy Details: Benefits vary, so it’s essential to understand what services are covered under the policy.
  • Eligibility for Benefits: Insurers may not cover individuals already experiencing significant disabilities or those over a certain age without additional premiums.

Private Pay

When other forms of insurance do not cover specific needs, or if individuals seek more personalized care options, private pay becomes necessary. This method offers the greatest flexibility but requires out-of-pocket expenditure.


  • Custom Care: Ability to tailor services to personal needs without the constraints of insurance limitations.
  • Immediate Availability: No need for pre-approvals or eligibility requirements.



What types of home care does Medicare cover?

Medicare covers part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care, physical therapy, speech-language pathology services, and occupational therapy, provided these services are prescribed as part of a treatment plan and the patient is homebound.

How do I know if I qualify for Medicaid home care services?

Eligibility for Medicaid home care services varies by state but generally includes meeting specific income and asset thresholds. Contact your state's Medicaid office or a Medicaid planner for eligibility assessments.

What should I look for in a long-term care insurance policy?

When choosing a long-term care insurance policy, consider the types of services covered, the duration of coverage, elimination periods (waiting time before benefits start), daily or monthly benefit limits, and inflation protection.

Can I hire my own home health aides if I’m paying privately?

Yes, if you're paying privately, you have the flexibility to hire your own home health aides according to your specific needs and preferences, without restrictions from insurance providers.

Does Medicare pay for home assistants?

Medicare typically does not cover ongoing custodial care if it's the only care needed. It covers home health aides only when there's also a need for skilled nursing or therapy services.

Will Medicare pay for me to take care of my mother?

Medicare does not pay family members to care for an elderly relative. It only pays for professional care from Medicare-certified home health agencies.

Which type of care is not covered by Medicare?

Medicare does not cover 24-hour home care, meal delivery, transportation, or custodial services like bathing and dressing if these are the only types of care needed.

Who qualifies for Home Health Care services in Illinois?

In Illinois, qualification for home health care services through Medicare requires that the individual be under the care of a doctor, have a plan of care, and be homebound. Medicaid qualifications can vary, so it's best to check with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services for specific Medicaid eligibility.


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