Directly paying --out-of-pocket-- the Home Health Agency with your own funds is a very common method. If you have insurance or help from a government program like Medicare or Medicaid, you are responsible for any services that are not covered by the outside payor. You can negotiate the fee with the agency.
Government & Public Programs - Financial Assistance
Medicare will pay for certain Home Health Care costs if you meet their eligibility requirements. Your need for care must be intermittent or part-time. Your doctor must certify that you need home nursing care. To receive care under Medicare coverage, you must use a Medicare Certified Home Health Agency. For more about Medicare and Home Health Care visit our Medicare and Home Health Care page.
Medicaid is a joint federal/state program to provide health care coverage to low-income persons. Each state has its own eligibility rules, and they can vary widely. Some states call their Medicaid program by a different name. In Maryland, for instance, Medicaid is known as Medical Assistance.
States are required by federal regulations to provide home health care coverage in certain circumstances according to a person's income and other qualifications. There are also Home and Community Based Services Waiver Programs, which provide special help under the Medicaid umbrella. Read more about medicaid waivers.
For more about your state coverage see our individual state home health care pages.
Older Americans Act of 1965
Your local Area Agency on Aging might be able to help you locate service or financial help under the Older American's Act. This Act aims to enable frail and older Americans to remain in their homes instead of institutions.
If you are a veteran, and disabled due to a service-related condition, the Veterans Administration may help. They provide Home Care services through a VA network of home care units. Limitations and requirements apply, so be sure to investigate the details with the VA.
State Health/Aging Programs and Community Service Programs
There are various programs which provide funds for Home Health Care. In addition, there are programs which help to reduce the daily expenses of living at home for older persons. Examples would be various meal programs, or low-cost and free transportation services, and financial help with telephone and utility expenses.
Private Commercial Insurance
It varies greatly from plan to plan, but many health insurance policies provide for some level of home health care. The coverage is often on a cost share basis.
Managed Care Organizations
These and some other group plans sometimes offer coverage for home health services.