How Much Does Senior Home Care Cost?
The importance of home cannot be overstated. Yet, for many older adults who struggle with health or mobility issues, they are faced with a difficult choice — leave home for a community where assistance is available or stay and risk their safety. Home care services allow older adults to age in place with professional help and dedicated support.
Though their benefits are undeniable, family caregivers often find themselves wondering how to pay for home care services. If someone in your life could benefit from having an at-home caregiver, explore our frequently asked questions about coverage and payment for home care services to learn more.
How Does Billing Work for Home Care Services?
Cost and billing for home care depend on a wide variety of factors, with location being the most significant. Costs can vary widely between states and even areas within the same state. You will also need to consider the level of care required and potential insurance coverage.
What Does Home Care Cost?
The total cost of having a professional personal caregiver come to your home depends on two factors — a client’s unique care needs and how often they use the service. This means that different types of home care have different cost considerations.
- Level of care: Many older adults are still quite mobile. In these instances, caregivers serve a practical purpose, providing companionship, transportation and help around the home with the activities of daily living. Other clients have more acute needs that require a higher level of care and a caregiver with more training.
- Frequency: Some families use home care as a respite for a few hours a day. Other clients with more severe health issues may require more consistent services or 24/7 assistance.
How Do Payment Plans Work?
Home care services usually involve monthly charges, and the organizations providing them will bill directly to third-party payers such as Medicare, Medicaid or insurance. Any uncovered costs are then billed to the client.
Some clients choose private pay, meaning clients or their families pay out of pocket for home care. However, private pay can be funded or supplemented through resources such as the following:
- Personal savings
- Veterans programs
- Health savings accounts (HSAs)
- Individual retirement accounts (IRAs)
- Investments and annuities
- Real estate
- Social security benefits
Does Insurance Cover Home Care Costs?
Most health insurance will not cover home care — only home health. A doctor must prescribe home health care, as these services involve more medical attention. Here, a licensed professional provides care, usually for two to three visits per week for 21 days. Home care is often needed to supplement the limited nature of home health services.
In some cases, clients with long-term care (LTC) insurance can receive coverage for home care services not covered by standard insurance policies. At Corewood Care, our services are covered by LTC. However, policies have different requirements for coverage. Call us so we can assist you with your policy and claim.
Will Medicare or Medicaid Cover Home Care?
While Medicare may cover home health care services prescribed by a doctor, it will generally not cover home care. However, some home care services may be covered for a limited time if they are deemed medically necessary and delivered in tandem with skilled nursing or therapy.
Medicaid is coverage for lower-income families and often pays for home care services for older adults. Because states administer their own Medicaid programs, eligibility requirements vary. To pursue Medicaid coverage for home care, you will need to work with your state agency.
Are Home Care Services Tax Deductible?
Personal caregivers can be considered household employees. If you pay any taxes on their behalf, including state employment or social security, these costs may qualify as a medical expense deduction. If a personal aid eats with their client, that cost can also be deducted. Be sure to save every receipt you get and store them before tax season to claim itemized medical deductions.
Learn More About Our Home Care Plans at Corewood Care
Corewood Care is here for you and your family. We will work with you to find the most cost-effective and beneficial option for the older adult in your life. Schedule a free assessment to learn more about our home care plans.