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Does Medicare pay for Home Health Services?

Does Medicare pay for care in my home?

Yes, Medicare can pay for care in your home. In fact, about 10% or 1 out of every 10 people enrolled in Medicare receives care in their home each year that is paid for by Medicare. The benefit is called "home health care" and it includes healthcare services at home for an illness, such as heart diease, or after an injury. Home health care does not cost as much as care in a hospital or a skilled nursing facility (SNF), is just as good, and it is easier for you when nurses and others come to your house.

If you get your Medicare benefits through a Medicare health plan, check with your insurance company to find out how you can get Medicare home health care benefits.

Examples of home health care services paid for by Medicare:

  • Helping wounds to heal, including a wound after surgery
  • Helping you and your family learn how to manage your disease or condition and the medicines the doctor has prescribed to treat it
  • Having a nurse come to your home to make sure that your diabetes or heart condition or other disease is not getting worse, and that you can take care of yourself at home, including after a heart attack or stroke
  • Having a nurse help you and your family know what medicine you should take, when you should take the medicine and how much. The nurse will also help you and your family understand what medicines you should stop taking, and what are signs that tell you and your family that your medicines may not be working or are making you feel worse
  • A physical therapist (PT) coming to your home to help you feel safe when you walk or go and down your stairs, go to the bathroom, take a shower or bath, get in and out of bed, or get dressed— in other words making sure you are safe when you do what you need to each day.

Medicare pays for home health care to help you get better and to do things for yourself again, safely. However, Medicare only pays for this care if nurses or therapists work for a company called a “home health agency.” These agencies have been reviewed by Medicare and must meet quality standards. Check out an infographic on Medicare coverage of homecare services.

How Can I Get Home Health Care?

If you are in the hospital, a nursing home. or a rehabilitation facility, you or your family can ask that a nurse or a therapist come to your home. Someone in the discharge planning will give you a list of home health agencies that take care of people where you live or will be staying. You can also ask your doctor or someone in his or her office about home health care.

Last updated: 03-30-2018