Home health care and home hospice benefits are different but related, so it is helpful to understand both in order to coordinate them.
Home health care refers to health care provided by a skilled professional such as a nurse, social worker, or physical therapist in a home setting. Usually, your health insurance policy will only cover home health care visits if the provider is delivering a skilled need. Examples of this are teaching about a new medication, showing how to change a bandage or dressing, or providing physical therapy in the home.
Home hospice is the highest level of home care and is focused on symptom and pain management, usually near the end of life. Insurance coverage of home health care and home hospice care varies.
Questions for your insurance company representative or health care team
- Do I have a home health care benefit? If so, what does it cover? Is there a maximum number of covered visits?
- Do I have a home hospice benefit? What does it cover? Is it separate from my home health benefit? Is there a lifetime maximum of covered services?
- What is the best way to utilize both of these benefits?
- Will there be a co-pay for each individual home health or home hospice visit?
- Do I have to use a preferred provider? If so, who are the preferred providers?
- To ensure coverage, does my health insurance company need to pre-approve the home health or home hospice care before it is started?
- What are my alternatives to home health or home hospice care?