Using Medicaid to Pay for Home Health Services

By The Care Centers.

Home health services are an important part of helping your loved one retain his or her independence, and avoid moving into a nursing home or other elder care facility. For many families, the costs of these services can quickly deplete savings and jeopardize financial health. One solution for making these costs more manageable is to use Medicaid to pay for them. 

Medicare vs. Medicaid

While Medicare (link to Using Medicare for Home Health Services) and Medicaid are both federal programs designed to make health care more affordable, they are not the same. Medicare is typically for those who are 65 years of age or older, or those with severe disabilities. Medicaid is both a federal and state program that assists those with low incomes. Even though these programs are different, it is possible to be eligible for both, which can help significantly lower the costs of care. 

Medicaid Eligibility

It is important to understand that due to Medicaid being both a federal and state program, the eligibility requirements can vary widely from state to state. The program is broken down into eligibility groups, and each group has its own requirements. Additionally, while states are required to provide certain eligibility group coverage, they can opt out of providing others.

When applying for Medicaid, you will need to meet both financial and general requirements that are set by your state. These are typically based on your assets and income levels, so you will need to make sure you have all information relating to these areas available when you apply to prevent unnecessary delays. In most cases, you have to meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • 65 or older
  • Suffer from a permanent disability/receive SSI benefits
  • Suffer from blindness
  • Are pregnant
  • Are a child, or be the parent/caretaker of one
  • Are a US citizen

Your overall eligibility will also depend on your monthly income and the requirements of the state in which you are applying and live. Income generally includes:

  • Wages/Salaries
  • Social Security or Disability Payments
  • Bonds and Stocks Dividends
  • Veteran Benefits
  • Pensions
  • Bank Account and CD Interest

Medicaid Coverage for Home Health Services

Unlike Medicare, this program does provide coverage for home health services. This includes both medical and custodial care, which can include assistance with moving around, dressing, eating, bathing, toileting, and getting into or out of beds and chairs. In most cases, Medicaid will cover custodial and health care services in the home (link to Top Eight Ways Home Care Can Help) if you require care that is similar to what you would receive if you were in a nursing facility.

If you require long-term care, it is important that you apply for Medicaid, as this will allow you to cover the costs of home health services. If you have any questions or need assistance, make sure to contact your local Medicaid office to determine your eligibility and potential coverage options to assist with long-term care.

Tags: Home care