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What Home Health Benefits are covered by Medicare

Updated: Nov 12, 2021

Medicare will cover part-time or intermittent Skilled Nursing and Therapy Services if you are under the care of a doctor and that doctor certifies that you need this level of care. Part-time means less than 7 days each week or daily for less than 8 hours each day for up to 21 days. Sometimes, this 3-week limit can be extended if your doctor can predict when your need for daily skilled nursing care will end. If you need full-time care over an extended period of time, then you would not qualify for home health benefits.

Medicare will pay in full for Home Care services only if you are also receiving Skilled Care. Home care, or Non-Skilled services, such as bathing or personal care, will be covered by Medicare if you are also receiving Skilled Care from a licensed professional such as an RN or Physical Therapist. You can receive both Skilled and Non-Skilled Services combined as long as they are provided fewer than 8 hours each day OR 28 or fewer hours each week (or up to 35 hours a week in some situations).

Again, if your doctor certifies that you need services of a nurse, physical, or occupational therapist, you can also receive non-skilled services such as help with bathing, dressing, or grooming, as long as the services combined meet the time requirements.

Medicare Home Health Benefits will not cover services such as 24-hour-a-day care at home, meal delivery, or homemaker services, such as cleaning, laundry, and shopping.

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