The cost of home health care varies across Maryland. If you are looking for a budget figure, $20 per hour is generally, the cost. However, costs will fluctuate depending on the type of health care required; length of stay, 4hr v. 24 hrs; etc. Home care services can be paid privately, i.e. your own funds or funds from a family member; or thru your long term care insurance policy, if you meet their standards for help; or through a variety of public sources, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans’ Administration.

The Medicare program will pay for home health care if all of the following conditions are met: homebound and under a doctor’s care; needs skilled nursing care, or occupational, physical, or speech therapy, on an intermittent basis. These services must be under a doctor’s care and part of the patient’s home health care plan. Obviously, you must be on Medicare and the services ordered must be “medically reasonable and necessary.”

Be aware that not all health care providers, especially, independents, will qualify. Because, the health care agency must be certified by the Medicare program. Therefore, ask before you hire an agency, are you Medicare certified?

The VA program will pay for home health care through the Aid and Attendance pension benefit which may be available to wartime veterans and surviving spouses who have in-home care. Many elderly veterans and surviving spouses, whose incomes are above the congressionally mandated legal limit for a VA pension, may be eligible for the special monthly Aid and Attendance benefit, if they have large medical expenses, including assisted living facility or home care expenses, for which they do not receive reimbursement.

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