Visiting Angels is the name of a privately-owned network of home health care agencies that are located all around the United States. Home health care can provide important services for Medicare beneficiaries who require skilled nursing care after an illness or injury. Medicare Part A and Part B may help cover the costs of home health care if you meet the eligibility requirements.
The “angels” referenced by this agency provide in-home care for people who are ill or injured. They provide a wide range of services that may include respite care, personal care, companionship, and other services based on the needs of the patient. Some of these services include social care, help for patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s, end of life care, and fall prevention. The agencies may also offer services to help with daily chores like light housekeeping, meal preparation, running errands, and even companionship. They offer services on a 24/7 basis for temporary or long-term situations.
Visiting Angels agencies are franchises that are owned and operated independently. These agencies are among hundreds of similar home care agencies that provide services for seniors or other Medicare beneficiaries across the country.
Medicare beneficiaries who need home care services may be able to get their home health services through an agency like Visiting Angels, but it is important to check with the agency and to review your Medicare coverage carefully to ensure that the services you need are included on the list of Medicare options for approved in-home care services.
Does Medicare Cover Services Provided By Visiting Angels?
Medicare may help cover the cost of medically necessary home health care provided by approved home health care agencies. These approved agencies may provide a host of services that Medicare does not cover. It is important to recognize which services Medicare covers and which they do not to determine your costs of care in advance.
For eligible Medicare recipients, the Part A coverage for home health care is 100 percent of the approved amount that is provided by a Medicare-approved agency. Medicare Part B helps cover the cost of medical supplies and equipment. If you have Original Medicare, you will likely pay 20 percent of the final approved cost for durable medical equipment (DME) that is prescribed by your physician for use in your home.
Home care agencies also provide services that are not approved Medicare options included in your coverage. Some of these include:
• Home care on a 24-hour basis
• Meals delivered to the home
• Homemaking services such as cooking, cleaning, or running errands
• Personal care like dressing, bathing, or using the bathroom if this is the
only care required
• Providing companionship if this is the only care required
Medicare covers home care for injury recovery if your health care provider certifies that it is medically necessary. Services that Medicare may pay for include:
• Nursing care on a part-time basis
• Physical, occupational, or speech-language therapy on a short-term basis
• Medical social services
• Durable medical equipment used for treatment including crutches, wheelchair,
Medicare has no time limit for coverage of these services if your physician certifies your need for them, and renews the order every 60 days. The physician must also certify you as homebound.
Does Medicare Cover Hospice Care at Home?
For patients with terminal illness and a life expectancy of six months or less, Medicare covers hospice and respite care. Coverage includes care that is provided either in the home, in a hospice care facility, or in a nursing home.
Medicare may pay for the following expenses provided by an agency in your home:
• Physical or occupational therapy
• Medical equipment and supplies
• Prescription drugs needed for pain relief and control of symptoms
• Grief counseling for the patient and family and other social work services
• In-home respite care on a short-term or occasional basis
Who is Eligible for Medicare Coverage of Home Health Care?
You are eligible for home care services if you are homebound and currently being treated by a physician who has created a care plan for your condition. Also, a health care provider must certify that you require either skilled nursing care, physical or occupational therapy, or speech-language pathology services.
According to Medicare regulations, you can be certified as homebound if your doctor determines that your health may worsen if you leave your home, or if you require assistance from another person, crutches, or a wheelchair to go out. Your physician can certify you as being homebound even if you leave home for short periods of time for non-medical reasons, such as attending adult day care or religious services.
If you are considering at-home care with a Medicare approved agency, discuss the details and all your options with your physician and a representative from the agency. Be sure that the services you are getting are covered by your Medicare insurance plan before you begin the service.