The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that in 2019 non-skilled home care will be included as a supplemental benefit for Medicare Advantage plans. Up until this point, CMS has not included daily maintenance care as part of the MA benefits. But what does that mean for you?
What This Change Means
The guidelines for what is covered in Medicare are expanding to non-skilled in-home care, which is a huge deal for those that require care but do not necessarily need a nurse or an assisted living facility. The decision to cover this type of home care is receiving an overwhelming amount of support.
Advocates are thrilled CMS is recognizing the significant benefits available through non-skilled home care. People who need help but couldn't afford to hire a private professional company are now able to qualify for assistance.
According to CMS, Medicare will allow supplemental benefits for services the lower the risk of injuries or the impact of health conditions and to help eliminate avoidable trips to the emergency room. Non-skilled care means it is not provided by nurses, doctors, or licensed medical personnel. Covered services are those offered by a caregiver, which typically includes assisting with daily tasks and activities. A caregiver can help ensure you have taken your medication, bathed, eaten, etc.
Qualifying for Care
CMS has not specified all eligibility requirements for care to be covered yet. The details are still being finalized. However, they have stated that specific illnesses and injuries will qualify. The particular qualifying conditions are yet to be named.
In order for non-skilled, home care to be covered by Medicare, you must be a Medicare Advantage participant. As of 2015, CMS data showed 35 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in MA. That number is expected to grow quickly over the next few years. You can enroll in a MA plan during certain times of the year. There are various plans to choose from and they are all very different. To begin, familiarize yourself with the different plans available to you using the plan finder on Medicare.gov.
For more information on the costs of long-term care, check out our quick and easy guide!