How Do I Pay for Home Care?

By June 15, 2018Home Care

You may be concerned about finances during the process of finding in-home care for elderly parents. A major benefit of using a home care agency is that agencies have deep experience assessing your loved one’s current needs and providing a realistic forecast of the cost and how to pay for home care.

The most common financing options to pay for home care are offered through public benefits such as in-home support services, private long-term care insurance policies, veterans aid, and attendance programs, reverse mortgage products, or private pay. Find a complete list of home care costs and payment options in your state.

How is Home Care Paid For?

Patient/Private Pay

For most older adults requiring non-medical home care, private pay is the most common source of funding for home care, and fees are paid out of pocket.

Long-Term Care Insurance

Many different types of long-term care insurance cover various kinds of senior care services, including skilled nursing, in-home care, assisted living, adult day care, and care management. Most policies have different rules about service scope, how long the elimination period is, how an individual is evaluated to receive benefits, and the amount available to reimburse for senior care services. Most home care agencies are well versed in helping families to assess individual policies.

Private Health Insurance

Non-medical care services are those that provide assistance with functional needs. These services do not include skilled medical care (injections, wound care, suctioning, etc.). Because in-home care is non-medical in nature, private health insurance companies do not pay for home care.

Medicare

It’s a common question: “Does Medicare cover in-home care?” Unfortunately, Medicare does not pay for non-medical home care services, regardless of whether it’s a private caregiver or home care agency. Medicare does not pay for activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, dressing, and walking, or instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), such as companionship, transportation, and housekeeping assistance.

Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California)

Medicaid is a government program for individuals at the poverty level. Medicaid differs from Medicare in that it does provide assistance for types of senior care that do not require skilled services. Medicaid or Medi-Cal benefits can make the average in-home cost for elderly care much more affordable for families.

Workers’ Compensation

Employees injured on the job are entitled to benefits under workers’ compensation insurance. Your loved one’s workers’ compensation claim manager can provide you with specific plan coverage information.

How Much Does Home Care Cost?

The average cost of in-home care for elderly loved ones varies greatly, but there are some ranges that should guide your expectations. For example, the average in-home care cost per hour in Los Angeles County, California, ranges between $22–30 through a home care agency, while the cost in Houston, Texas, ranges between $17–22. If hiring private caregivers, the national average cost of in-home care per hour starts at $12, and on average, families can typically save 20%–30%.

Please note, this private caregiver hourly rate does not include local and state taxes, workers’ compensation, or other mandatory employment fees. When considering in-home care costs, it’s important to take into account factors that will affect the hourly rate, including geographical location, the level of care your loved one requires, and insurance coverage requirements.

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