Medicare considers you homebound if you meet both of the following criteria.
1. You need the help of another person or medical equipment such as crutches, a walker or a wheelchair to leave your home.
Your doctor believes that your health or illness could get worse if you leave your home.
2. It is difficult for you to leave your home and you typically cannot do so.
Your doctor will decide whether you qualify as homebound when they write up your plan of care for the home health benefit. Whether or not you do depends on your doctor’s evaluation and knowledge of your condition over an extended period of time, not on a daily or weekly basis.
Leaving home for medical treatment, religious services or to attend a licensed or accredited adult day care center does not put your homebound status at risk. Leaving home for short periods of time or for special non-medical events, such as a family reunion, funeral or graduation, will also not keep you from being considered homebound. Taking an occasional trip to the barber or beauty parlor is also allowed.