While living independently as a senior is an optimal goal, it heavily relies on the health of the individual—and health can change drastically in moments. A fall or sudden illness can heavily impact the ability of an individual to participate in activities as they once did and, in some instances, can leave them homebound—unable, highly difficult, or damaging to one’s health to leave the home. Qualifying for their health care to be delivered to them, enables many patients to maintain independence and continue living in the comfort of their own home even with their health impacted.

Elderly, disabled, and chronically ill patients are often covered by Medicare health insurance, which does not provide coverage for custodial care (long-term care); however, if a patient qualifies, it can provide coverage for at-home health care services.

If you or a loved one has had their health greatly impacted and are seeking the possibility of at-home health care as a potential resource for on-going medical care and treatment, the following information will be helpful to determine if and how you can qualify under Medicare’s at-home health care policy.

  • A patient must be determined to be homebound by a physician.
  • The homebound status can be caused by an illness, advanced age, or a disability.
  • This can be a permanent status or temporary. For example, a doctor may determine that you should be homebound for 3 weeks following your surgery or your physical disability makes it unsafe to you or your health to leave home for an extended period of time.

To qualify as homebound, a patient will have to show one of two criteria:

  1. They cannot be able to or must have significant trouble leaving the home without assistance. Assistance can be the aid of another person or the use of a device such as a walker, cane, or wheelchair.
  2. If the person does leave their home, then their condition or health may worsen, and as a result they must stay at home to receive their care.

In either case, a doctor will have to verify, or certify, that you are considered homebound. If you are unsure if the criteria for being homebound is met, you can contact our office to discuss your eligibility for our at-home health care services.