Yes, Medicare covers home health care in certain situations — as long as it is deemed medically necessary by a doctor. Once your doctor refers you to a home health care agency, the agency will come to your home and administer care as often as directed by your doctor. The home health agency will also regularly update your doctor on your progress.
Here’s what else you should know about home health care under Original Medicare.
Understanding Home Health Care
Many health care services that were once only available in a doctor’s office or hospital are now available at your home. This form of care, known as home health care, can encompass a wide range of treatments and services.
Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) covers care at your home in certain circumstances, including:
- Intermittent skilled nursing care* (less than seven days a week; or less than 8 hours a day over a maximum of 21 days)
- Physical therapy
- Speech-language pathology care
- Occupational services
*To receive skilled nursing care at home, you must be homebound and not require full-time care.
Typically, the costs of home health care services under Original Medicare are as follows:
- $0 for home health care services
- 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for durable medical equipment
Keep in mind that you are still responsible for your Original Medicare out-of-pocket costs, which include your Medicare Part A and Part B deductibles, coinsurance and copays.
Before you begin receiving home health care, the home health agency will schedule a time to visit your home. During this appointment, you’ll discuss your health care needs, and you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions about your health. The home health agency will also talk with your doctor about your care to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Once treatment begins, your home health care provider will also:
- Ask about the food you eat
- Check your vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and breathing)
- Discuss with you the medications you’re taking
- Teach you about any steps you need to take in order to stay healthy
Refer to our guide, What Does Original Medicare Cover, to learn other services that are covered by Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B.
You can also check out our Medicare Supplement Insurance guide to learn more about what Medicare Supplement Insurance covers.