Medicare Home Health Care Coverage

Does Medicare Cover Home Health Care? – Overview

Home healthcare services are the perfect solution if a medical condition prevents you from being mobile.

Home care providers offer a convenient, inexpensive and efficient way to care for your needs. Original Medicare’s Part A and Part B may cover the cost of home healthcare services if you are homebound and meet specific conditions.

Medicare does not cover non-medical in-home assistance with daily needs unless it is part of skilled nursing or therapy services prescribed by a doctor.

However, if you require coverage for long-term home care, you need to know whether Medicare covers it.

Does Medicare pay for Home Caregivers?

The kind of home care you need, the reason you need it, and the duration of your need determine whether Medicare will pay for its expenses.

Here’s a look at aspects of homecare that are covered under the Medicare health insurance program:

For In-Home Medical Care

In case you are home-bound due to a serious illness or severe injury, then you are eligible for cost coverage under Medicare if you fulfill the following conditions:

  • Inability to leave home without a considerable and taxing effort. Home healthcare services are covered under Medicare.
  • The doctor has verified that you require home care and prescribes a plan for the care you need.
  • The requirement for intermittent skilled nursing care is defined as less than 8 hours a day and less than 28 hours a week. Medicare does not limit this care to up to 3 weeks only; it can be longer if medically necessary.
  • Improvement of your condition is not required for Medicare coverage of home health services.
  • You require skilled physical, occupational, and speech therapists to help improve and maintain your existing state of health or to prevent it from worsening.
  • Home health aides can be part of Medicare-covered services if they assist with skilled care needs, but they do not need to help you recover completely.
  • Need for a home healthcare agency that provides Medicare-approved and certified care.

What kinds of home care services are covered By Medicare?

Medicare covers several kinds of home care services. Some of the services and the Medicare eligibility to receive care are listed below:


If you need a physical therapist to provide you treatment in your home, then Medicare will likely pay for such services:

  • Condition assessment
  • Exercising and gait training as part of the recovery process after surgery, illness, injury or neurological problems, such as stroke
  • Post-surgical wound care
  • Wound care for lesions, burns and injuries

Occupational Therapy

In case you need occupational therapy at home, then you can expect Medicare to cover the cost of the following:

  • Establishing daily regimen for medications, caring for personal needs and planning meals
  • Training to conserve energy and decrease stress
  • Learning to carry out daily tasks safely
  • Regaining functional abilities
  • Carrying our doctor’s orders

Speech Therapy

In case you require home care services of a speech therapist, then you can expect Medicare to cover the cost of:

  • Treatment to recognize and remember words
  • Treatment to help you recoverability to swallow
  • Therapy to help you eat and drink normally
  • Learning about alternatives to communicate in case of speech impediment
  • Learning novel communication ways after suffering from loss of hearing

Nursing Care

In case a registered or licensed practical nurse needs to visit you at home for treatment, then you can expect Medicare to cover the cost of:

  • Changing wound dressings
  • Injecting medications
  • Changing catheter
  • Carrying out tube feedings
  • Administering IV medications
  • Educating you about taking care of medications and of yourself

Homecare Aides

Medicare does not cover home care aides for general monitoring of vital stats unless it is part of specific skilled nursing tasks:

  • Monitoring your vital stats, including heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure
  • Ensuring you are taking medications as per the doctor’s instructions
  • Determining if your home is safe for you, as per your condition and needs
  • Checking to ensure that your diet and medications are on par with the doctor’s instructions

In-Home Custodial Care

Medicare normally does not cover the cost of caregivers who help patients with daily activities unless the care is required only for a short period, such as when recovering from an injury or illness.

Medicare does not cover in-home custodial care services such as meal preparation, laundry, and general housekeeping. Custodial care only involving help with bathing, dressing, and using the restroom is also not covered unless it is part of skilled care prescribed by a doctor.

In essence, Medicare does not cover the cost of:

  • Round-the-clock care at home
  • Full-time skilled nurse services
  • Transportation


Medicare pays for home care services that are meant for short durations, such as helping people recover from severe injuries or serious illnesses.

This includes physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, skilled nursing and social services.

Medicare will not cover expenses for extensive in-home care, such as when only housekeeping and personal care are required.

See Also

Does Medicare Cover Chiropractic

Does Medicare Cover Hearing Aids

How Much Does Medicare Cost at Age 65

Does Medicare Pay For Nursing Homes

Current Version
August 18, 2023
Updated By
Andrea Morales G.
April 14, 2024
Updated By
Andrea Morales G.

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