If your loved one meets specific eligibility criteria, he can obtain home health care services under either Medicare’s "home health care" or "hospice" benefits.
Your loved one qualifies for the home health care benefit if a doctor certifies that he is homebound and requires skilled care.
He qualifies under the hospice benefit if he has a terminal illness, has less than six months to live, and elects to receive Medicare palliative care from a Medicare-certified hospice agency.
Medicare will cover skilled nursing care and “personal care” services (such as feeding or bathing) if your loved one qualifies for either of these benefits. It will only cover homemaker or “custodial care” services (such as cooking and cleaning) if your loved one qualifies for the hospice benefit.
However, it is likely that Medicare will never cover all of your loved one’s long-term care needs. Long-term care (commonly abbreviated as LTC) refers to a range of medical, personal and social services designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities, chronic illnesses or ongoing limitations in their ability to function independently.
For more information on Medicare’s home health benefits, click on the links in the GO TO box.
To find out more about long-term care, click on "What is long-term care?" in the GO TO box.
To find out where you can get additional help caring for your loved one, click on the NEXT button.