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INDEPENDENT AGING > Home Care > Home Care 3

Home Health Care: What You Need to Know!

For you, the consumer – A summary of important information you need to know about home health care: Remember to ask questions!

Home Health Care is a Medicare/Medicaid benefit (for 65 yrs. or older or the disabled).  Your eligibility comes from (but not limited to), a discharge from a hospital or rehab center.

• The amount of care you will receive is determined by your diagnosis and evaluation/assessment conducted by the Home Health Care Agency.

• The benefit can run a maximum of 60 days (your certification period). But the Home Health Agency (HHA) can release you from care (discharge you) at their discretion.

• If you keep services for the entire 60 days, another evaluation will be conducted to determine (re-certification) for extended 60 days.

• There is no minimum service time guarantee and it all depends on the assessment/evaluation from the Home Health Care Agency and your primary care physician (PCP).

You have a CHOICE on your provider:

• Many health care organizations have internal home health care services and may gently persuade you to choose their service because it is within their best interest to keep you within their continuum of care.

• Remember – you have a CHOICE – Ask your Social Worker (or whomever is in charge of your discharge plans) or your health care provider for at least three (3) other choices – they will give you information on other home health care organizations that are reputable in the community.

• Interview the Home Health Care Agency prior to starting service with them. Ask to meet their representative.

• You need to have total TRUST in your Home Health Care provider! 

Research All Your In-Home Benefit Options:

• If you need home health care, and feel you may not be getting what you are eligible for – contact your Primary Care Physician (PCP). Talk to them about what you think you might need and have him give you a referral.

• Find out if you are eligible for Medicaid or (State) funded services. You should contact your Aging Service Access Point (ASAP) nearest you (Elder Services) to check your eligibility.

If you have other insurance – ask about in-home care benefits

• Contact the Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) and inquire about other State benefits that you may be eligible for. If you are a Veteran – contact the Veterans Administration.

Still need more help?

• After you have researched your eligibility for Medicare and State funded home care services – and you still need more help – you may want to check into private pay in-home care.

• This may be to supplement what you are already receiving from Medicare or Elder Services – or after you are no longer eligible for those benefits, but you still want/need services.

• There are hundreds of private pay in-home care agencies. You need to choose wisely! 

• Remember to ask for references, and meet the companies’ representative before signing on for services.

• Again – TRUST in your home care provider is very important!

The above information is only a summary – there is much more to know and learn about Home Health Care.