Home health services
How often is it covered?
cover eligible home health services like these:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech-language pathology services
- Medical social services
- Part-time or intermittent home health aide services (personal hands-on care)
- Injectible osteoporosis drugs for women
Usually, a home health care agency coordinates the services your doctor orders for you.
Medicare doesn't pay for:
- 24-hour-a-day care at home
- Meals delivered to your home
- Homemaker services (like shopping, cleaning, and laundry), when this is the only care you need
- Custodial or personal care (like bathing, dressing, or using the bathroom), when this is the only care you need
All people with Part A and/or Part B who meet all of these conditions are covered:
- You must be under the care of a doctor, and you must be getting services under a plan of care created and reviewed regularly by a doctor.
- You must need, and a doctor must certify that you need, one or more of these:
- Intermittent skilled nursing care (other than drawing blood)
- Physical therapy, speech-language pathology, or continued occupational therapy services. These services are covered only when the services are specific, safe and an effective treatment for your condition. The amount, frequency and time period of the services needs to be reasonable, and they need to be complex or only qualified therapists can do them safely and effectively. To be eligible, either: 1) your condition must be expected to improve in a reasonable and generally predictable period of time, or 2) you need a skilled therapist to safely and effectively make a maintenance program for your condition, or 3) you need a skilled therapist to safely and effectively do maintenance therapy for your condition. The home health agency caring for you is approved by Medicare (Medicare certified).
- You must be homebound, and a doctor must certify that you're homebound.
You're not eligible for the home health benefit if you need more than part-time or "intermittent" skilled nursing care. You may leave home for medical treatment or short, infrequent absences for non-medical reasons, like attending religious services. You can still get home health care if you attend adult day care.
Home health services may also include medical supplies for use at home, durable medical equipment, or injectable osteoporosis drugs.
- $0 for home health care services.
- 20% of the for .
Before you start getting your home health care, the home health agency should tell you how much Medicare will pay. The agency should also tell you if any items or services they give you aren't covered by Medicare, and how much you'll have to pay for them. This should be explained by both talking with you and in writing. The home health agency should give you a notice called the Advance Beneficiary Notice" (ABN) before giving you services and supplies that Medicare doesn't cover.
If you get services from a home health agency in Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, or Texas, you may be affected by a Medicare demonstration program. Under this demonstration, your home health agency, or you, may submit a request for pre-claim review of coverage for home health services to Medicare. This helps you and the home health agency know earlier in the process if Medicare is likely to cover the services. Medicare will review the information and cover the services if the services are medically necessary and meet Medicare requirements.
Your Medicare home health services benefits aren't changing and your access to home health services shouldn’t be delayed by the pre-claim review process. For more information, call us at 1-800-MEDICARE.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and physician assistants can now provide home health services, without the certification of a physician.