How to Qualify for Home Health Aide


Home health aides work with people with disabilities, chronic illnesses and cognitive impairments who live in their own homes or within a residential facility. Aides also work in hospices and help clients establish a normal daily routine as much as possible. Among other tasks, aides engage in light housekeeping and advise families and clients on nutrition and household tasks. You must obtain an aide from a local home health agency. You can receive help paying for the aide through Medicaid or Medicare if you meet each program's qualifications. Otherwise, you are required to pay for the aide without this assistance.

  • Visit your doctor to receive medical care and a written a plan of care for you. The doctor must regularly review the written plan. This is the initial qualification for obtaining a home health aide with Medicare subsidies.

  • Obtain certification from your doctor that you need either intermittent skilled nursing care, physical therapy, speech-language pathology services or continued occupational therapy. Additionally, obtain certification from your doctor that you are homebound if you have a condition that keeps you from leaving home, or leaving home requires considerable effort.

  • Obtain a referral from your doctor to use the services of a local home health care aide. Ensure that you do not need more than a part-time or "intermittent" aide. If you do, Medicare will not pay for these services. You will have to hire your own aide through a local home health agency.

  • Contact your state's Medicaid department to see if you qualify for a home health aide under that program. Medicaid may fully cover the costs of your home health aide if it isn't fully covered under Medicare. You likely qualify for Medicaid if you need help paying for some or all of your medical bills. Because each state has different qualifications, you must contact your state's office to determine if you qualify for a home health aide under this program.

Tips & Warnings

  • Obtain a home health aide from a local agency without Medicare or Medicaid subsidies if you do not meet the qualifications for either program but need assistance. Be aware that the cost of help can be exorbitant, particularly if you need around the clock care. To help defray these costs, ask your friends and family members to help you when they can.

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