home health careSometimes leaving your home for medical care can be quite inconvenient, to say the least. Maybe you’ve had major surgery requiring dressing changes, or maybe you need intravenous antibiotics for a particular illness.  In these instances (and if you qualify), Medicare will cover some services to be performed in your home rather that in an office or outpatient setting. So how do you know if you qualify?
To qualify for home health care services, you must meet all four of these criteria:
> Be under the care of a physician and have a plan of care in place.
> Your doctor must certify the type of care needed and certify that it is medically necessary.
> The home health care agency must be approved by Medicare.
> You must be “home bound” — meaning leaving your home would require significant effort, you can’t leave your home without assistance, or you have been advised not to leave your home due to your condition.
Can I Afford Home Health Care
When you’re certified for care and begin receiving home health care, Medicare pays 100 percent for the services you receive. Your home health care agency is paid one fee for all services you receive in a 60-day period. After 60 days, you must be “re-certified” by your health care provider and home health care agency for services to continue.
Should you require any durable medical equipment such as a walker, oxygen or other “supply”, Medicare will cover 80 percent for these devices.
Getting Help “Around the House”
It’s understandable after a major illness or surgery that you might not be able to perform your household duties like you used to. Unfortunately Medicare doesn’t provide coverage for duties such as laundry, cleaning, or meal preparation, so it’s important to seek help from family, friends, and any other resources you may have to help you out while you are recovering.
Hopefully you’ll never find yourself in the position of requiring home health care, but if you should, you can feel confident knowing your services are covered, so you can rest and focus on your recovery rather than galavanting around town from doctor’s office to doctor’s office for treatment.
What have your experiences been when you or a parent were in need of help at home?

Wiley Long is founder and president of Medigap Advisors, and is passionate about helping people navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. He is the author of The Medicare Playbook: Designing Your Successful Health Coverage Strategy, a clear and simple explanation so you can make the most of your Medicare coverage.