Do most long term care insurance policies cover home health care services?


Actually, you will be the one who will choose whether you want your policy to cover this or not, since there are some policies that cover this and there are some that don't.

Home health care, as the name suggests, is care given at home. This is supportive care provided by healthcare professionals (nurses, doctors and other licensed medical professionals) and caregivers. This is in contrast with home care, which is primarily provided by volunteer caregivers who are not professional - usually parents, children, other relatives or friends.

Most people prefer to "age gracefully" in the comfort and familiarity of their homes. Instead of having themselves admitted into a nursing home or assisted living facility, they would much rather get some help at home.

The services provided include

  • life assistance, which focuses on helping not just with the ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) - bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring, continence and eating), but also with preparing the meals, doing light housekeeping and errands and transportation.
  • the care of wounds and infections
  • training or assistance on medications
  • therapy (whether occupational, speech or physical therapy)
  • pain and disease management.

Most long term care insurance policies will provide for this benefit. You should ask the details of the coverage - how long the benefit payments will be, how much will the daily/monthly payments be and whether there is a waiting period before the insurance will start paying.

Another option you can look into if you want coverage from home health care would be to look into the CLASS act. With this federally-sponsored and managed program, you will have access to highly affordable long term care insurance that will pay a daily benefit that will help pay for home health care.

One other option you could look into would be Medicare coverage, which provides, when medically necessary, payment for therapy and nursing services for one who is homebound. Of course, you should check if you are eligible for this coverage.  This may pay for hospice services, therapy (whether speech, occupational or physical therapy), nursing care, as well as medical supplies and equipment.

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