Home health care is important for seniors who find themselves in this difficult situation. Having the services of a home health care aide or in-home caregiver can help seniors stay in their own homes and age in place while having access to the care and assistance they require. The best way to choose between home health care aides and home health aides is to ask questions. For instance, a simple question such as “How much training do you have?” can provide important information.
Most people are familiar with in-home care aides that are provided through a private agency. However, not everyone is aware of what a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) is and how they are classified according to state law. A CNA is certified by the state to assist seniors with the daily tasks necessary to maintain their quality of life. This may include assisting with bathing, dressing, getting medication refilled, moving to chairs or wheelchairs, and medical procedures such as administering medicine or monitoring a patient’s heart rate. While most states require that a CNA be registered and trained, some also allow employers to hire in-house certified nursing assistants (CNA).
Depending on whether you are living in one of the four traditional Medicare programs or Medicare Advantage, your care may be covered by the Federal Medicare Supplement and the State Medicare program. Many states have plans of sorts for in-home health care aides. Some of these programs may cover non-medical services for a limited time. Some only cover medical services for a limited time, and may not cover prescriptions. Regardless of the type of policy you choose, you should understand the limitations associated with your plan so that you don’t waste money.
If you are living in one of the four original Medicare programs, your in-home care aide’s assistance may be limited to those services deemed medically necessary. These services would include housekeeping, transportation or housekeeping assistance, personal care, medication reminders or help in preparing meals, and medical procedures that are directly related to a particular condition, surgery, or emergency. Some of these services may also be available through state medical providers, which can include physicians and dental hygienists. While you may qualify for financial assistance based on financial need, it’s wise to check with your Medicare representative to confirm what your exact coverage is.
If you are on Medicare Advantage, your in-home health aide assistance may be granted regardless of whether or not you qualify for traditional Medicare coverage or the original Medicare supplement plan. Medicare Advantage policies pay a percentage of the service cost instead of a flat fee. Although they do not provide full coverage, many individuals find that they can meet their healthcare needs through these plans. In addition, the rates for coverage offered through Medicare Advantage are often more affordable than the rates for non-medical care aides. To find out more about Medicare Advantage, contact a representative from your local office.
Medicaid is an essential program for low-income families and individuals. There are certain requirements needed to be eligible for services, but Medicaid provides qualified individuals with the resources they need to improve their healthcare or add qualifying medical conditions to their coverage. Medicaid is a federal program that is jointly operated by federal and state governments. Each state has a different definition of who is eligible for Medicaid, but every state has different Medicaid eligibility requirements.