«   |   »

Costs Associated With Home Health Care

Studies across the country estimate that at least 70 % of people, over the age of 65, will need some form of long-term health care or support services in the future, given the longevity of life in present times. Caregiving is usually an emotional strain, taking a toll on the health and emotional balance of the caregiver. However, it also has a telling effect on lifestyles, careers and finances of families. The rising cost of living and the recent set of new federal regulations, which now guarantee minimum wages and overtime compensation for home health aides, are bound to make home health care more expensive in future. Understanding the different senior care options available, planning for finance and shopping around for competitive prices are the keys to optimizing long-term health care costs.

Home Health Care Options

ID-10052309Health care needs tend to vary across individuals – from needing minimum support for going through daily routines, to extensive assistance even for simple tasks or regular medical care. Accordingly, both home care and home health care services are available.

Home care aides offering non-medical services can be hired from home care agencies; national average hourly pay being $18, varying from $14 – $25 across states. Private caregivers also offer the same services and charge typically 20 – 30 % less than caregivers retained through agencies. However, such retaining happens with no background checks, replacement services or insurance.

Home health care aides, however, can be hired only through authorized agencies, given the strict federal regulations. They visit the home whenever medical assistance is needed. National average hourly fee for home health care aides is $19, ranging between $15 and $25 across different states.

Home care for select types of medical conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, may prove more affordable than in senior care institutions.

Home Health Care Costs

Home health care is usually a preferred approach that enables seniors to be cared for in the comfort of their homes. This is possible only when family members or friends can either personally care for the senior, or afford to hire in-house health aides.

Home care and home health care are two different types of services, and not all finance sources can be used to pay for these services.

Home care is more of personal care and assistance. Costs of home care can be financed using:

Home health care services, on the other hand, can be compensated at least in part from health insurance policies and Medicare.

Arranging Finance for Home Health Care

There are several sources of finance that can help reduce the burden of home health care expenses. Federal programs such as Medicare, Veteran’s Health Care, etc. can help address a part of the senior care costs. Care reduction programs offer tax benefits on expenses that often prove beneficial. Asset conversion plans help seniors use non-liquid assets to pay for care. A large number of state-specific programs and non-profit plans are available to finance home health care needs for seniors. In addition, Medicaid compensates for home health care services, provided they are less costly than care provided at nursing homes.

Opting for the assistance of informal caregivers who are not associated with home care agencies, hiring help for specific types of health care, checking out if the senior qualifies for free subsidies at adult day-care centers, negotiating for mutually acceptable service charges, etc. will help cut down home health care costs.

Availing the professional services of geriatric care managers and financial planners will help reduce the burden of home health care costs by formulating a cost-effective plan of action.

You May Also Enjoy:

Image courtesy of Teerapun / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.