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Does Medicare cover home health services? Skip to content

From travel insurance to fraud protection, AARP has you covered. Take a closer look at your member benefits.


En español | Medicare home health care is a valuable benefit that provides a range of skilled nursing services, therapy, medical supplies and medical social services to you in your own home. Medicare covers all these services in full by paying a home health agency to provide them for up to 60 days at a time. But to get this coverage, you must meet all the conditions:

  • You must be homebound — that is, unable to leave home without considerable effort, unaided or at all.
  • A doctor must certify that you need one or more specified professional services — skilled nursing, physical or occupational therapy, or speech pathology.
  • You must be under a plan of care established and regularly reviewed by a doctor. 
  • The home health agency caring for you must be approved by Medicare.

The home health care benefit is provided mainly under Medicare Part A. Its range of services includes: 

  • Skilled nursing care provided on a part-time basis — no more than eight hours a day over a period of 21 days or less. It includes services such as injections, feeding through a tube, and changing catheters and wound dressings.
  • Physical, speech and occupational therapy from professional therapists to help you walk again, overcome problems in talking, or regain the ability to perform everyday tasks — whatever your medical condition requires.
  • Help from home health aides in personal activities, such as going to the bathroom, dressing, or preparing a light meal if this help is necessary in relation to your illness or injury. (But if this personal care is the only kind of care you need, you don’t qualify for home health coverage.)
  • Medical supplies such as catheters and wound dressings related to your condition. 
  • Medical social services such as counseling for social or emotional concerns related to your illness or injury, and help finding community resources if you need them. 

To find a home health agency that Medicare has approved in your area, go to on Medicare’s website. In the original Medicare program, you have the right to choose which agency you’d prefer to use. But if you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you may have to use an agency that’s affiliated with the plan.

For more information, see the official publication “Medicare and Home Health Care” at

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