Anne Osmer Reporting
With the U.S. population rapidly aging, the use of home health care services continues to increase. The good news is that Medicare will pay for many of these services. Taking advantage of home health care benefits is a matter of figuring out what Medicare covers – and what it doesn’t.
- Your doctor must determine that you need medical care at home. The services provided must be under a doctor’s supervision and performed as part of a home health care plan written for you.
- You must need one or more of the following: intermittent or part-time skilled nursing care, and/or physical or speech therapy; or a continued need for occupational therapy.
- You must be homebound, or unable to leave your home unassisted. If you attend adult day care this does not exclude you from receiving home health care benefits.
- The home health care agency must be certified by Medicare.
- Skilled nursing care. Skilled nursing care is care that can be performed only by a licensed nurse.
- Physical therapy.
- Speech therapy (pathology services).
- Occupational therapy. This is therapy to help you regain the ability to perform everyday activities again, such as eating or doing light chores.
- Durable medical equipment associated with your home health care, as well as certain medical supplies (not including prescription drugs).
- Medical social services. This might include counseling or other services to help you cope with the emotional aspects related to your situation.
- FDA approved injectable osteoporosis drugs, in certain cases.