How to Pay for In-Home Elderly Health Care

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Home health care services allow elderly people to receive health care in their own homes instead of hospitals or nursing homes. Many people prefer to receive care in familiar surroundings and home health care often costs less than hospital care or nursing home care. It can still be expensive, though; for instance, the National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information reports that in 2009 the average cost for home health aide services was $21 per hour. Skilled nursing and therapy services cost more, of course.

  • Contact your health insurance company and ask if your policy covers elderly home health care. Many insurance companies do, including Medicare and Medicaid, under specific circumstances. Unfortunately most people do not qualify for Medicaid. Insurance companies usually require a doctor’s order before they will pay for home health care services. You may have to pay a deductible or co-pay, depending on your insurance policy.

  • Call the Area Agency on Aging in your area and ask if you qualify for services. The Area Agency on Aging provides some home health care service for elderly people in need. Call the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging at 202-872-0888 to find the Area Agency on Aging nearest you or visit the association's website.

  • Call local home health care agencies and ask about payment options. Home health agencies usually have social workers on staff that can help you figure out how to pay for the care you need.

References

  • Linda Andrews, Licensed Practical Nurse, Area Agency on Aging, Mansfield, Ohio.
  • Photo Credit Yellow Dog Productions/Lifesize/Getty Images
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