Medicare, the Federal Program that Provides Healthcare Insurance for Older Adults, covers many services for long-term memory care services. Coverage varies by state; however there may be programs available to people with limited incomes to help pay for this care. This article looks into whether Medicare covers home health care for dementia services as well as how you can plan ahead for their costs.
Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital stays and certain home health services for individuals living with Alzheimer’s. Medicare also offers short-term home health services following hospital stays for specific needs such as physical therapy or help dressing or eating; however, their funding doesn’t cover everything that’s needed.
Early stage Alzheimer’s patients may qualify for home healthcare coverage through Medicare’s Home Healthcare Benefit program if they have experienced temporary loss of function due to medical conditions such as stroke or heart attack that caused temporary functional disability. To take advantage of this benefit, individuals must be able to leave their home. There is also a weekly cap on how many hours of home healthcare Medicare will cover each week.
Medicare does offer home healthcare benefits, including annual wellness visits and health risk assessments that provide an opportunity to screen for dementia and discuss care planning with doctors. It will also cover one depression screening per year as it’s common for early dementia sufferers to suffer from depression – something which is sometimes misdiagnosed as dementia by healthcare providers.
Medicare Advantage, or Part C, enables individuals to select a private insurer as an additional manager of their medical benefits in addition to Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage coverage can help individuals cover additional expenses that don’t fall under Original Medicare’s purview such as transportation costs and home healthcare services.
Medicare Advantage plans provide family caregivers with additional support. They may provide support groups and resources for people living with dementia and their families as well as financial assistance for caregiving expenses.
Hospice care may become necessary during the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease for individuals. Hospice care is a medical service which offers emotional and social support in their final six months of life; hospice visits include visits from physicians, nurses and social workers.
Medicare doesn’t usually cover custodial or non-medical care, so it is wise to explore other payment options for such care. Medicaid is an income-limited government program and some states may provide home health assistance or assist with assisted living costs. Families of people living with Alzheimer’s can seek long-term care insurance policies that cover these expenses.