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Ask Kim

Medicare and Home Care

Know the rules for custodial assistance for your loved one.

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QMy father’s health is not good, and he needs someone to come to his home to help him out a few hours each week. Does Medicare cover home care? --A.B., Leesburg, Va.

See Also: 10 Things You Must Know About Medicare

A

Medicare has very strict criteria for covering home care. For example, you can get coverage for custodial care (such as help with bathing or eating) only if you also have a need for skilled nursing care or for physical, occupational or speech therapy. You must be considered “homebound,” and your doctor must create a plan of care. See Medicareinteractive.org for more information.

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