Does Medicare Help With Family Caregivers
Does Medicare Help With Family Caregivers?
If you have a medical condition that makes it difficult for you to care of yourself, get to doctor appointments, or perform daily activities of living, you may need a caregiver to help you. Depending on the severity of your illness or injury, you may have a family member assist you for a few hours a day, or you may have to find a professional home healthcare provider.
Original Medicare may be able to help provide home health services depending on your medical necessity and physician’s orders. Medicare may help pay for care given to you in your home on a short-term basis following an injury or illness. But, if you need long-term care or custodial care, you’ll want to find out what Medicare will help cover.
Does Medicare offer coverage for caregivers?
The type of care you need, and length, and the kind of care you’re getting determines whether or not Medicare will cover caregiver costs.
In-home medical care
Medicare home health benefits will help pay for the cost of your care if you’re stuck at home due to an illness or injury if the following apply:
- You’re not able to leave home except for short periods, like a doctor’s appointment
- Your doctor provides documentation that you need in-home care and outlines a plan
- You need skilled nursing care for no longer than three weeks for less than 8 hours a day
- Your doctor predicts that your condition will improve in a short amount of time
- You need a speech, occupational, or physical therapist to help you improve
You’ll also have to see your doctor 30 days after or up to 90 days before you start getting services to stay eligible.
Physical, occupational, or speech therapy
Medicare can pay for physical therapy to assess your condition, perform postoperative wound care, or perform gain training and exercises to help you recover from illnesses, injuries, surgery, strokes, or other neurological conditions. It can cover wound care for lesions, burns, or injuries too.
An occupational therapist can help you establish a healthy daily routine for planning meals, taking medications, or caring for personal needs. They can teach you to carry out your daily tasks safely, help you regain your ability to function or help you follow your doctor’s orders.
A speech therapist can come and help you recognize or remember words, help you regain the ability to swallow or help you drink and eat like you normally would. They can give you alternate ways to talk if you can’t speak and help you find other ways to communicate if you lost your hearing.
A licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse comes into your home; Medicare may pay for them to change your wound dressings, change a catheter, do tube feedings, inject medications, give IV drugs, and educate you on how to safely take your daily medications.
Home health aides
Medicare may provide coverage for a home health aide to monitor your vital signs like blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature or ensure you’re taking your medications correctly. They may also evaluate whether or not your home is safe and check that you’re drinking and eating in a healthy way.
Medicare typically covers this care. You have to be eligible for Medicare Part A. Your doctor also has to certify that you have six months or less to live due to a terminal illness.
Medicare can also help cover the cost of this type of care. This is a short-term stay at a qualified hospice facility. It can last up to five days in a row, and it will give your caregivers a short break. You do have to set up the arrangements through a primary care provider.
Average costs for in-home care
If Medicare doesn’t cover your in-home care, you could look at hiring someone to come in and help if your family needs a break. On average, you can expect to pay this person around $21 per hour to perform some custodial services. The costs will go up depending on the location and the level of care you need.
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