Many seniors use in-home care to safely age in place, while adults of other ages may require in-home care to provide support for chronic diseases, recovery from surgery or other basic care.
In-home care includes professional services ranging from companionship to skilled nursing* that could be needed for short-term assistance or be part of a longer plan of care that keeps your loved one safe and happy at home. Learn about the various types of home care here.
Costs vary from state to state and may be dependent on your insurance provider. Here, we explore costs and potential financial assistance for in-home care. To make the best choice, it’s essential to talk with a trusted professional for an assessment of your in-home care needs.
Cost of In-Home Care
While many individuals only need care during specific hours each day or throughout the week, others need round-the-clock care. Although this need can be met with live-in help, another option is 24/7 care in which a home health agency provides professionals to deliver care in shifts throughout the day and night.
The cost of in-home care with services such as cleaning the house and cooking varies, depending on where you live and the services you need. We can discuss the most cost-effective options for your family; you can also find an estimate with this calculator from Genworth.
How Do I Pay for In-Home Care?
As you look at in-home care costs, you’ll see a range of prices based on location, type of care and quality of care. To help choose the right level of care and navigate the payment approaches, it’s smart to talk with an in-home care expert. They’ll walk you through it all, step-by-step. Families often choose one or more of the following financial sources to cover their loved one’s care:
1. Private Pay or “Out of Pocket” — Paying with personal funds helps cover services when you or your loved one’s care has reached the limits of service and support from sources such as Medicare. Sources of these funds can include personal savings, family members, a cash-out refinance, a home equity line of credit (HELOC), a reverse mortgage, certain life insurance proceeds (cash value or life insurance policies with “living benefits”) and other options.**
2. Long-Term Care Insurance — Long-term care benefits usually pay for in-home assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing, incontinence care, transfers (from bed, chair, toilet, etc.), meal prep and more. If you or your loved one have this insurance, find out if the in-home care provider will help you process the claim and/or assist with billing.
3. Private Health Insurance — Some in-home care providers are “in-network” with certain insurance companies.
4. Military Benefits — There are some veterans’ benefits such as Veterans Aid and Attendance that might assist you with paying for home care. Contact your potential in-home care agency and they should be able to help you determine if you or your spouse qualify.
5. Medicare — Medicare home health agencies provide service based on physician orders, usually for a specific condition and a set period of time. Medicare will cover certain types of in-home care, but it needs to be medical in scope (called in-home health care). However, if you require 24-hour care and there are specific services that you need infrequently, Medicare may provide coverage. Medicare may cover physical therapy, for example, but will not cover long-term supportive care. Medicare may cover skilled nursing but only for specific periods. Even if the home care agency doesn’t accept Medicare, they may be able to work with your Medicare home health agency to provide supplemental or ongoing care.
6. Medicaid — Each state decides what services are provided under their Home and Community Based Service (HCBS) waiver program. To qualify, your loved one must meet your state’s eligibility requirements and have income and assets below certain guidelines. You can learn more at Medicaid.gov.
Please note: Except for private pay, most of the above payment sources for home care services have eligibility requirements and limitations.
*Skilled nursing care and in-home therapy availability varies by location. Contact your local BrightStar Home Care agency for a full list of available services.
**Be sure to speak with your financial or tax advisor to receive guidance on the overall financial impact of decisions regarding sources of home care funding.
Find the Right In-Home Care and Payment Option for You
The cost of in-home care can fluctuate significantly based on types of care, services needed, and even location. Navigating government programs such as Medicaid and Medicare can be confusing. Plans and benefits change, and new features are added every year.
You’ll find a trusted partner in BrightStar Care. With over 20 years of experience and a commitment to staying on top of current and evolving payment sources for in-home care, we’re able to help you navigate the decisions surrounding the type of care your loved one needs and how to pay for it. Please contact a BrightStar Care agency near you or call 866.618.7827.