does medicare cover home health care for dementia

As someone caring for someone living with dementia or having the condition yourself, or as someone living with the disease yourself, it’s essential that you are aware of the many types of home healthcare services Medicare and Medicaid offer. From respite care for caregivers to educational resources on dementia diagnosis and management – finding appropriate home health services could make all the difference for care recipients or themselves. Medicare and Medicaid both offer coverage for various aspects of dementia care allowing you to find solutions best suited to each person in their care situation.

One of the primary concerns people have when considering home health care for dementia is whether Medicare covers it. Home health care should generally be covered if prescribed by a doctor and following certain guidelines; however, not everyone qualifies. Therefore it’s essential that you discuss with your physician any details of your specific case or benefits you might qualify for under Medicare coverage.

Medicare Part A covers up to 35 hours of intermittent skilled nursing care per week from a Medicare-certified home health agency, provided by homebound individuals who cannot leave without exertion, and their physician coordinates care between themselves, the home health agency, and them as medically necessary. Medicare Part B covers tests, doctor visits and other medical items but requires monthly premium payments, deductible payments and coinsurance coverage from patients; Medicare Advantage plans often offer additional coverage such as adult daycare or nutrition services depending on where you live.

Hospice services may also be an option for some people with dementia under Medicare. Hospice care aims not at curing the person but instead improving quality of life and alleviating suffering as they move into later stages of dementia. To receive hospice services, a doctor must certify that they have terminal illness with an estimated life span of six months or less.

Medicare covers some aspects of dementia care; however, it doesn’t pay for long-term care services or intensive in-home home health services. Therefore, other insurance programs such as long-term care insurance or private pay may be better options to cover such expenses.

Medicare does not reimburse 24-hour home healthcare or meals delivered directly to the home – two services typical of long-term care – so when it comes time to deciding the appropriate coverage options for dementia caregiving, working with a private insurance agent or Medicare expert may be key in finding out your options. Involvement with state health insurance assistance programs could provide helpful one-on-one help if needed.