According to government estimates, within 20 years nearly one in five Americans will be over the age of 65. As baby boomers continue to age, demands for medical care will increase significantly. For most Americans, that has long meant an eventual move into a nursing home or assisted living facility, or unpaid in-home care by a family member. More and more, though, home health care is becoming an option for more people.
Home health care providers have been around for over a century, but the services available exploded after then enactment of Medicare in 1965. According to the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), between 1967 and 1985, the number of Medicare-certified home health care agencies more than tripled, with almost 6,000 providers. Currently, some 12 million patients receive in-home care from more than 33,000 home health care agencies.
Covering the Costs of Home Health Care
Before Medicare, home health care was primarily available only to those who could pay for it out of their own pocket. Under Medicare, anyone over the age of 65 may qualify for in-home services, if they are homebound, under a physician’s care, and need certain skilled nursing or therapy services. There is also limited coverage available to low-income Americans under Medicaid. Public funds are also available under the Older Americans Act (OAA), through the Veterans Administration, and through community organizations or social services programs.
Commercial health insurance providers have also entered the market, providing policies that include coverage for both short-term in-home care and long-term in-home care needs. Major insurers, such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield, typically offer cost-sharing programs for home health care services. Some group health plans also offer coverage for certain types of in-home health care treatment.
Learn More about Your Options from Star Multi Care
At Star Multi Care, we provide in-home health care, and also work with people in assisted living or other residential care facilities. To learn more about the ways we can help you and your loved ones, contact us online or call our office at 877-920-0600.
Home Health Care—Protecting Your Legal Interests
When you require health care services in your home, you want to make certain your legal rights and interests are protected. Attorney Bonnie Lawston, in Huntington Station, has provided sound counsel to seniors and their families for more than 15 years. She can work with clients and providers in New York and out of state.