Most seniors prefer to remain in their own homes if at all possible. When making decisions about the practicality of this option, it is important to know that Medicare will not cover nonmedical home services. Those who have purchased long-term health insurance or have veterans benefits may be eligible for services. Keep in mind that long-term insurance must be purchased early, before the individual is experiencing health problems.
Seniors needing in-home medical care may be eligible for Medicare Part A if the following criteria are met:
• A physician must decide the individual requires medical care at home and must make a plan for the home care.
• The individual must require at least one of the following services: intermittent skilled nursing care, physical therapy, speech therapy or occupational therapy.
• The individual must be homebound. Being homebound means that it is very difficult for the patient to leave his or her home without assistance and that he or she only goes out for short trips to doctor’s visits, haircuts,
religious services or adult day care.
• The home health-care agency from which the patient receives services must be Medicare approved.