Page Reviewed / Updated – October 11th, 2021

Private pay home care is home care that you or your loved ones pay for out of existing assets or savings. This type of care is sometimes referred to as “private duty” or “out-of-pocket care.” Most home care providers are paid this way rather than having fees covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

Senior care can be expensive, and many families are worried about how they will cover the costs of home care or assisted living for an aging loved one. It’s a good idea to research the different home care options and how they can be funded well in advance.

Private Pay Is The Most Common Home Care Payment Method

Private pay, or out-of-pocket care, is the most common way for people to pay for home care. Medicare does not pay for homemaker services or full-time home health care, so seniors and their loved ones must find other ways to finance personal care services and assistance around the home.

Medicare may sometimes be used to pay for home health care on a part-time basis for homebound seniors. Medicare Advantage’s supplemental offerings may also cover some care in the home. However, if a senior only needs help with shopping, laundry, cleaning or personal care, then they’re most likely going to need to pay for this out of pocket.

Medicaid May Help With Home Care Costs

Low-income seniors who cannot afford private pay home care may be eligible for support with their care through Medicaid. The rules for Medicaid are state-specific, and Medicaid itself is means-tested, so not all seniors will be able to take advantage of this benefit.

Some other programs may help reduce out-of-pocket costs for home care. Veterans may be eligible for support through the Veteran-Directed Care program, and many states offer support for seniors through Home and Community-Based Services waivers. These waivers can be used to cover the cost of services that allow a senior to remain in their home, delaying placement in an assisted living facility.

Seniors who are worried about covering the costs of their care may wish to contact their local aging and disability resource center or a similar senior support organization to learn more about the benefits and waivers available to them.