Use our Auto Buying Program to find your next car with the latest safety technology! Learn more today.
En español | Home health care services are a valuable Medicare benefit that provides skilled nursing care, therapy and other aid to people who are largely or entirely confined to their homes.
In 2017, Medicare spent $17.7 million on home health services for 3.4 million beneficiaries, more than double the amount expended in 2001, according to the federal Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.
To be covered, the services must be ordered by a doctor, and one of the more than 11,000 home health agencies nationwide that Medicare has certified must provide the care. Under these circumstances, Medicare can pay the full cost of home health care for up to 60 days at a time.
That period is renewable, meaning Medicare will continue to provide coverage if your doctor recertifies at least once every 60 days that the home services remain medically necessary.
To be eligible for Medicare home health benefits, you must meet all of these conditions:
Either element of original Medicare — Part A hospital insurance and/or Part B doctor visits and outpatient treatment — might cover home care. Services include these:
Medicare does not cover:
Medicare’s website has a search and comparison tool to help you find certified home health agencies in your area. If you have original Medicare, Parts A and B, you can choose any approved agency.
If you have a Medicare Advantage plan from a private insurance company, you may have to use an agency that the plan works with. Before you start receiving care, the agency should let you know, verbally and in writing, whether some of the services they provide are not covered by Medicare and what you would pay for them.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on Jan. 1, 2014. It has been updated with the latest information regarding Medicare coverage in 2020.
Return to Medicare Q&A main page
Find the content you are looking for by entering in search terms below.
Visit the AARP state page for information about events, news and resources near you.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
You'll start receiving the latest news, benefits, events, and programs related to AARP's mission to empower people to choose how they live as they age.
You can also manage your communication preferences by updating your account at anytime. You will be asked to register or log in.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at