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Monmouth, IL 61462

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Serving Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Knox, McDonough, Mercer, Schuyler, Rock Island, and Warren Counties.

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I talk to people regularly about the misconception that Medicare covers long-term care at home. Medicare, along with some other options, does support seniors in several different ways and it is important for planning purposes to be aware of the scope of services.

Medicare is predominately federal medical coverage for seniors and is usually the primary insurance for medical coverage after a certain age. Under certain criteria, Medicare does provide coverage for home health care services typically for 60 days. The home health care services are exclusively offered by Medicare-certified agencies and typically include nursing, therapy, social work, and bathing assistance. Depending on the unique needs of the patient, visits are usually one or two times per week for one hour or less.  

Medicaid typically offers secondary insurance through the state for people who meet an income, asset, and age/disability criteria and does limited in-home medical services, similar to Medicare.

The Illinois Department on Aging has a pre-screened, state-funded program that contracts with certain home care agencies to provide limited weekly services to assist with activities such as laundry, housework, transportation, companionship, and meal preparation. While this program does not cover 24-hour care, it often times provides enough coverage for most people to help them remain independent in their homes.

Long-term care insurance policies provide limited coverage for in-home care. As with any insurance, these policies can vary and usually a person has purchased this insurance long before they would need to use it. These policies are written to provide certain coverage for non-medical, long-term care needs and often have an elimination period, which is a period of time that a person would have to pay privately for care before the policy coverage begins.

Veterans who meet a certain criteria determined through the VA Health Care System can also receive benefits that assist with long-term care needs. The VA healthcare system provides coverage for home care, including coverage for two to three skilled nursing visits per month, a bath aide one to two times per week, and approximately three hours of homemaker services per week. This service can be ongoing as long as the veteran qualifies for the services.     

People can also choose to pay privately for their care. Typically, families will work with licensed home care agencies to develop a tailored care plan to fit lifestyles and schedules. While some pay for around-the-clock care, most choose intermittent hours throughout the week to get the help they need when they want it the most.

Western Illinois Home Health Care is a full service home care provider in your area. We have dedicated Senior Care Managers who assist you in finding the services you qualify for and can help you in determining the level of care you need. Please call 1-800-228-5993 if you or someone you know is in need of services.  

Amanda Powell, BSW, is a Senior Care Manager at Western Illinois Home Health Care

Planning Your In-Home, Long-Term Care Needs

May  2015

by Amanda Powell

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