Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Home Health Care?
- Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plans cover home health care services such as intermittent skilled nursing care, and some plans may also cover things like caregiver support, home-delivered meals, bathroom grab bar installation and more.
Home health care benefits can be an important part of an older adult’s health insurance coverage. Many seniors wish to age in place at home for as long as possible, but many may lack the independence to do so unassisted.
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plans (part of the Anthem family of brands) provide all of the same home health care benefits that are found in Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) for plan members who have been deemed homebound and need part-time or “intermittent” skilled nursing care can qualify.
Some Anthem BCBS Medicare plans may also cover additional home health care services such as non-emergency medical transportation, home meal delivery, home health aides, caregiver support and more.
All Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans – including Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare plans – are required to cover at least the same benefits covered by Original Medicare. Many Medicare Advantage plans also offer other extra benefits not covered by Original Medicare, such as dental, hearing, vision, telehealth and more.
What Is Medicare Skilled Nursing Care?
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), skilled nursing care is care given by a nurse or other trained health care provider who can administer IVs and other injections, change out wound dressings, manage medication doses and more. Coverage is good for a certain number of skilled nursing care hours per day and per week.
When skilled nursing care is needed, the benefits also extend to personal care, or “custodial” care. This includes assistance with activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, toileting, eating, mobility and more.
Other home health care services covered by Medicare (and thus by Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plans) include physical, occupational and speech therapy, along with social services like counseling.
Some Anthem BCBS Medicare Advantage Plans May Offer Additional Benefits for Home Use
There are many additional health care services that can be beneficial to individuals who are homebound or have difficulty leaving the home. And many of these home health care benefits may be covered by a Medicare Advantage plan from Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Some of these benefits can include coverage for things like:
- Caregiving from a friend or family member
- Home health aide or caretaker services
- Home delivered meals and assistance with meal preparation
- In-home hospice care and respite care
- Home modifications such as wheelchair ramps and grab bars
- Durable medical equipment (DME) like walkers or wheelchairs
- Non-emergency medical transportation to doctor’s offices and pharmacies
- Telehealth and 24/7 nurse hotlines
- Health and fitness programs that offer opportunities to participate from home
- Home delivery of prescription drugs and over-the-counter health products
How Can I Enroll in a BCBS Medicare Plan With Home Health Care Benefits?
Once a year during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP, also called the fall Medicare open enrollment period), you can make changes to your Medicare coverage. If you anticipate a need for home health care services in the upcoming year, it may be wise to review the home health care coverage of your current plan and compare it to the benefits of other plans available in your area.
Most Medicare beneficiaries have their choice of more than one Medicare Advantage plan where they live, and the coverage offered can differ in each plan.
Contact a licensed insurance agent who can help you compare Wellcare Medicare Advantage plans available plans in your area and the home health care coverage offered by each. You can also compare plans online for free, with no obligation to enroll.