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How expensive is home care?

Costs Of Home Care

Bunni Dybnis (Director of Professional Services, LivHOME, Inc. ) gives expert video advice on: How expensive is home care?; Is home care less expensive than a nursing facility?; How expensive is non-medical home care? and more...

How expensive is home care?

The cost of home care can vary greatly, even in terms of non-medical care. For families that are looking at independent contractors, those fees can be what you pay for a housekeeper. Again, you don't have the protections or the liabilities on the family. Through a home care agency, because there's so many differences in what they are providing, it can be anywhere from probably $130 a day up to $250 or $300 a day for care.

Is home care less expensive than a nursing facility?

The costs of home care versus a nursing facility really depends on the individual situation, so if a person is getting the top-of-the-line home care, and demands a private room in a nursing home, it's probably going to be pretty much equal. The reality of nursing homes and for the indigent is, the government provides that safety net that will cover the fees of nursing homes. So even though the cost may be the same of a nursing home, it's not coming out of pocket, but, in the case of about fifty percent of the people in nursing homes, is paid by the federal government through the Medicaid system.

How expensive is non-medical home care?

Non-medical home care can vary anywhere from fifteen, to twenty-five dollars an hour, or a hundred and fifty, to two-hundred and fifty, or three-hundred dollars a day. Sometimes when somebody needs people for two twelve hour shifts, because they're up all day and all night, it can go as high as four or five hundred dollars.

How much does skilled nursing home care cost?

Skilled nursing home care is paid hourly and not by the day, and it can be as much as $50 an hour.

Does Medicare help pay for home care?

Medicare pays for the skilled care associated with a home care agency. So what Medicare will pay for is the nurses to come over for injections, they'd come over to do wound care, they would pay for a limited amount of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, but it's for a limited time and in terms of some very strict criteria.

Does Medicaid help pay for home care?

Medicaid for the most indigent will pay for what is called "in home supportive services". It's very hard to get caregivers to work for minimum wage, so the majority of in home supportive service workers are family caregivers who are being paid to take care of their older adults, and Medicaid or MediCal does pay for that.

Will long-term care insurance pay for home care?

Long-term care insurance is the product that does pay for long-term custodial medical care. And in certain situations, they'll also be reimbursed for assisted livings or for nursing homes.

Do agencies and individual providers charge by the hour or by the visit?

I can speak to California. In California, caregivers are paid hourly, and there is a waiver which is equivalent to 10 hours for a 24-hour shift, assuming they're allowed to sleep. There's some very strict wage regulations in terms of what they can do for that period. So it's an hourly or a per dime rate, based on the individual situation.

Are there any hidden home care charges I should be aware of?

In terms of hidden costs of hiring home care if your hiring an individual independently, and it seems like they are significantly less expensive, even if they're from an agency, then another agency it is probably because they are independent contractor and you as the employer are responsible to pay their taxes, and to pay for workers compensation. They also need to pay for liability and other type of employee responsibilities. So that is probably the most common thing that people don't understand. The other hidden costs, and again they shouldn't be hidden if you have read your contracts, as most agencies do not charge an up front deposit. Some registries will. You have to be aware of late fees. Overtime fees for holidays shouldn't be hidden but they are required by law when you have a W2 employee.

What if I need medical equipment as part of my home care?

If you need medical equipment as part of your homecare, much of it is reimbursed by private health insurance and by Medicare. The doctor has to order it, so you have to be careful to make sure that the doctor does order it. It can include anything from canes, walkers and wheelchairs to commodes for the bed and various kinds of other things that enable you to live at home.

Is it important to employ a certified home care agency?

In terms of hiring a certified or licensed home care agency, that's one marker for quality insurance and it can be an important one. For states like California, I know, because our company has several offices, we went for national accreditation. There is no licensing in California. We wanted to insure quality insurance. However, we are the only non-medical home care company in California that provides that. You have to do diligence to ask some of those questions that a licensing bureau would ask if they were certified or licensed.