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Financing/Coverage

Veteran’s Guide to Qualifying for Home Care

veterans_home_care

Finding the right home care for veterans can be difficult. At WellSprings Home Care, one of our biggest goals is to help our senior veterans find the home care solutions that align best with their needs – and for many families, this means finding the right financial solutions.

Many Chester County, Montgomery County, and Delaware County veterans may be unaware of their home care benefits, which means that they could be paying more for homecare than they should. That’s why we’ve created this guide for veterans on qualifying for home care.

Benefits as a Veteran

There are several options to pay for homecare as a veteran. While these options do have some qualifications to meet, you might be surprised to know that more than one-third of senior veterans are unaware of their choices. Let’s take a look.

• VA Pension. U.S. military veterans and widowed spouses of veterans can receive supplemental income through the VA’s Veterans Pension and Survivors Pension benefit programs. While these benefits are needs-based, this is certainly a great option to explore further.
• Housebound Benefits. Veterans who are unable to leave the house due to health issues or disability may be able to receive housebound benefits through the VA. This can also include if assistance from another person is needed to leave the house for doctor’s appointments, or other necessary medical visits.
• Aid & Attendance. If your loved one qualifies for a VA pension and needs assistance from another person, he or she may be able to receive Aid & Attendance. This program provides additional income on a monthly basis, and essentially can help pay for homecare services.

Who is Eligible for VA Benefits?

The next question to ask is if your loved one is eligible for VA benefits. In general, qualifying veterans have served a minimum of 90 days of active duty, with one or more of those days during wartime.

Other requirements include:
• Age 65 or older with limited income
• A nursing home patient
• A Social Security Disability Insurance recipient
• Permanently disabled

More specific requirements pertain to the Aid & Attendance and Housebound benefits. These include determining everyday activities, or activities of daily living, your loved one needs assistant with. Such activities include personal hygiene routines, meal preparation, household chores, and taking medication.

What are the Financial Eligibility Factors for VA Benefits?

Financial eligibility is also something to consider when applying for VA benefits. Your loved one must have an income below the amount set by Congress. This includes income from disability and retirement plans, net income from a personal business, or interest from annuities.

Additionally, your loved one’s assets will also determine if he or she is eligible for benefits. This is decided on a case-by-case basis, where the VA will look at an individual’s assets and determine if he or she could live off of them for a sufficient amount of time.

Learn More About Veterans Qualifying for Home Care

While we’ve put a lot of information in here about how veterans can qualify for home care, there’s still much to learn. Contact us at WellSprings Home Care Services at (610) 463-0880 with all of your VA Pension questions, and we’ll be happy to help!

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Understanding Your Coverage: Does Medicare Pay for Home Care?

If you or your elderly parent or relative is in need of home care, you may be wondering if it’s covered under his or her Medicare plan. Our team at WellSprings Home Care Services has the answers right here for you.

Medical and Non-Medical Home Care

To start, let’s define what we mean by medical home care, or home health care, and non-medical home care. These terms share many similarities, but have distinct differences – especially when determined by Medicare standards.

Home health care is provided by a medical professional, such as a nurse or physical therapist. Such practices include nursing care, rehabilitative therapy, medication administration, and so on. Home health care is usually recommended by a doctor, especially right after a surgery or fall in the home.

Non-medical home care is provided by trained caregivers who are not licensed medical professionals. This care can include services such as live-in care, personal hygiene assistance, light house chores, and companionship.

What Type of Home Care Does Medicare Cover?

Medicare covers home health care, and the terms must meet specific criteria, including the following:
• Your doctor has advised medical care at home
• You need medical assistance such as nursing care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, or speech therapy
• You are unable to leave your home without assistance, also known as being homebound
• The homecare agency you’re working with is Medicare-certified

If these four terms are met, your Medicare plan will cover these types of home health care:
• Part-time or intermittent nursing care
• Part-time or intermittent home health aide services
• Physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy
• Social services such as counseling or community resources
• Some medical supplies, excluding prescription drugs and biological
• Wheelchairs and walkers

Medicare will not cover:
• Live-in care
• Delivered meals
• Personal care assisted by home health aides

In most cases, Medicare will cover the full amount of nursing and therapy services, and 80% of wheelchair and walker expenses. However, you may have to pay a coinsurance amount in some instances.

These same benefits apply if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, except that you will need to obtain services through a home health agency within the plan’s network.

In cases where you need to pay a coinsurance, a Medicare Supplement plan, or Medigap, can help to cover this amount, along with other costs not covered by Medicare Part A or Part B.

Find the Right Home Health Care Agency to Help

Not every home health care agency is certified by Medicare. You’ll want to check on this factor first, before choosing where to hire a home caregiver. Your doctor can help with recommending an agency within your network, or you can visit Medicare.gov to find a Medicare-certified agency in your area.

While Medicare will cover medical expenses within the home, it may be that you or your elderly loved one needs help with everyday tasks. Thankfully, there are several other options when it comes to paying for non-medical home services.

If you are a senior or family member of an aging loved one in the Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Chester County areas, feel free to contact us at WellSprings Home Care with your home care questions and concerns.

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