Understanding Medicare and Home Health Care Needs
31 August 2021
These days, finding great home healthcare support can be tough. Demand is high and the number of trained caregivers is unfortunately too low to serve everyone who needs assistance.
This can often lead to long wait times for people looking for caregiver support, especially when they are dependent on public assistance or governmental support such as Medicare. Receiving support through Medicare for home care needs would be life-changing for millions of seniors around the country.
For those interested in using Medicare for home health care, there are certain requirements that they will have to meet. If a doctor approves it, Medicare will cover the cost for a certain amount of skilled home health care visits. This includes approximately eight visits a month from skilled care providers such as speech therapists, nurses, and physical therapists.
A home health aide can also be covered by Medicare if skilled care is prescribed and approved. These aides help with tasks for daily living such as personal care and light housekeeping. Unfortunately, this support must come coupled with skilled care if it is to be paid for by Medicare.
So can we expect more help for people that need home health care? What is the government planning on doing to ensure seniors have the care they need? As America’s population continues to get older, this is a problem that needs clear solutions before it gets even worse.
This year, President Biden included a plan to expand home and community-based long-term care services that help people remain in their homes and out of nursing homes. This was part of a larger infrastructure plan and is likely to face opposition politically.
Unfortunately, Medicare doesn’t cover long-term home care needs. Medicaid does require that states cover nursing home care for qualified individuals, but it has limitations for home-based services. Individual eligibility and benefits also tend to vary depending on the state a person lives in.
In recent years, certain states have tried to boost funding towards these Medicaid home services as they are quite needed and cost-effective. These states are also looking into home care programs for people that don’t qualify for Medicaid.
This March, Congress approved the American Rescue Plan which boosts Medicaid funding to states by 10%, which amounts to approximately $13 billion for home and community-based care services. This money has to be spent before March 2024 and may be utilized for training care workers, reducing wait times for those awaiting care, or for personal protective equipment for care workers.
If the government truly wants to deal with the home healthcare crisis head-on, it would be wise to invest in the compensation, training, and recruitment of workers. By providing opportunities for career growth, seniors can look forward to more support from care workers and government programs. To learn more about how Rose’s Agency Home Care can help you with your care needs, please contact us today. We have trained caregivers available to assist your family with a variety of needs.
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