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The Basics of Private Pay Homecare

July 30, 2015, 02:54 AM


While homecare is often covered, at least in part, by government programs or health insurance programs, there are instances where patients and the their families will pay for homecare privately. In the case of private pay homecare, the patient and homecare provider sign a contract detailing all the services to be provided and the agreed upon payment schedule so that everything is clear from the beginning. It is expected that the patient will fulfill his or her side of the contract from personal resources, and not through government assistance.

Why Pay Privately?

The two main cases where a patient may pay for homecare privately are: if they are ineligible for insurance-covered homecare or have exhausted their insurance, or if they wish to supplement what their coverage provides. In the former case, it is particularly important to do as much research as possible to make sure the family does not expend limited resources unnecessarily, that they are getting the best value for their money, and that they are really investing in the highest quality services that they need without paying for extra services that they might not need. In the latter case, government programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and/or private insurance, may cover a certain amount of homecare, but the family may feel the patient’s quality of life would be significantly improved from supplementing that coverage privately. This may mean adding hours per week that a homecare aid is at the patient’s home, at personal expense, for example. Alternatively, the family may wish to pay privately to expand the services the patient will be receiving at home, as opposed to simply increasing the number of hours he or she will receive the same service.

Choosing Private Pay Homecare

If you are considering private pay home care, start by checking which homecare agencies near you accept private pay clients – not all of them do (though Abcor does). Once you’ve narrowed down your options, ask for referrals from previous or current clients. Check out the testimonials page on the agencies’ websites and speak to a representative to make sure that you’re on the same page about private pay homecare expectations.

Image Source (CC BY 2.0) by brilling via flickr

Image Source (CC BY 2.0) by brilling via flickr

Make sure to clarify all terms of a potential private pay contract, such as whether there is a minimum package for securing private pay services, and what payment plans are available. Also make sure to ask what the refund policy is in the case that the patient heals more quickly than expected or does not need to use the entirety of the original contract for any reason.

Once you’ve narrowed it down to your top candidate, request an in-home evaluation and work with the agency to create a plan of care. There should be a flat fee for this service, and it is extremely worthwhile, to make sure that the services you are paying for out of pocket are tailored specifically to your needs.

Long Term Care Insurance

Long Term Care Insurance is a sort of in-between option, between traditional insurance coverage for homecare services and private pay. If you have access to this kind of supplemental coverage, make sure to bring it up early in your homecare agency search, and maximize what it covers beyond what is covered by traditional private health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.

When recovering from illness or injury, or coping with a disease like dementia at home, it’s important to know that you have options, and private pay Chicago home care is one of them!

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