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If you’re enrolled in Medicare, many of your health-care costs are usually covered as part of your hospital and medical benefits. But sometimes, you may need help recovering from an illness or injury, or even coping with the issues of day-to-day life when you have a chronic disease. In those situations, unfortunately, Medicare doesn’t cover custodial care, or help with dressing, housekeeping, preparing meals, or other senior services.
If you’re elderly or disabled and need assistance, or you care for a loved one who needs some help, you might be able to find help in your local community.
What senior services does Medicare cover?
If you’re eligible for home health care, Medicare may cover the following services if your doctor decides they are medically necessary:
- Intermittent skilled nursing care
- Part-time home therapy (speech, language, physical, occupational)
- Medical social services to help you find community assistance
Part-time home health services Medicare coverage doesn’t include round-the-clock nursing care at home, in-home meal delivery services, homemaker services, or home health aides used only for personal care such as bathing, dressing, and help with eating or going to the toilet. Home health aides are only covered when they provide health-care services to support other skilled services such as nursing care or specialized medical therapy.
Where can I find senior services in my community?
Finding help with services for seniors or other Medicare beneficiaries might start with a phone call to your local Area Agency on Aging. These social service organizations can give you information about services in your community. If you need help finding your local agency, you can use the ElderCare.gov locator, an online tool to connect you with resources for everything from home care services to medical transportation and even respite care options.
If you are eligible for Medicaid benefits in addition to your Medicare coverage, you may have access to help with services under your state’s Medicaid program. Medicaid might offer you access to additional benefits such as:
- Non-skilled home care such as bathing, dressing, and using the toilet
- Transportation to and from health-care appointments
- In-home meal delivery
If you need help connecting with your state Medicaid program or other insurance services, contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP); this online locator tool will help you find your state coordinator.
For more options finding local community-based senior services, you can also try one of the following options:
- The social services department of local hospitals or community health clinics
- Your state’s AARP office
- Your state’s National Association for Aging and Disabilities
- Faith-based agencies in your community
- National disease groups such as the American Heart Association or the Alzheimer’s Association
If you need more information about getting help covering home care services for seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries, I am happy to answer your questions. You can schedule a telephone call or request an email with more information by clicking one of the links below. To see a list of Medicare plans in your area you may qualify for, click on the “Compare Plans” button.