Does Medicare Cover Home Health Care for Dementia?

Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Does Medicare Cover Home Health Care for Dementia?

Medicare typically covers home health care for individuals under specific conditions, but it’s important to understand its limitations, especially for dementia patients.

Medicare does cover home health care, but primarily for short-term needs following a hospital stay. This coverage generally includes services like checking vitals and ensuring recovery from a recent hospitalization.

Learn how to manage the cost of home health care effectively with our detailed calculator.

Limitations of Medicare in Dementia Care

  1. Short-Term Coverage: Medicare’s home health care is designed for short-term needs, not for ongoing, long-term care.
  2. Specific Conditions: Coverage is provided only if the patient meets certain conditions, such as being homebound and requiring skilled nursing care or therapy.
  3. No 24-hour Care: Medicare does not cover 24-hour home care.
  4. Limited custodial care: Medicare generally does not cover custodial care (help with activities of daily living), which is often needed by dementia patients.

Alternative: Long-Term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance can be an alternative for those needing extended care, such as dementia patients. This type of insurance typically covers services that Medicare does not, including extended home health care and custodial care.

Medicare vs. Long-Term Care Insurance

Coverage AspectMedicareLong-Term Care Insurance
Duration of CoverageShort-termLong-term
Type of Care CoveredSkilled nursing, therapySkilled nursing, custodial care
24-Hour CareNot coveredOften covered
Custodial CareLimitedExtensively covered


Understanding the coverage limitations of Medicare in dementia care is crucial. While it provides some home health care services post-hospitalization, it is not designed for long-term or custodial care needs. Exploring long-term care insurance is advisable for comprehensive coverage in dementia care.

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Shawn Plummer, CRPC

Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor

Shawn Plummer is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, insurance agent, and annuity broker with over 14 years of first-hand experience with annuities and insurance. Since beginning his journey in 2009, he has been pivotal in selling and educating about annuities and insurance products. Still, he has also played an instrumental role in training financial advisors for a prestigious Fortune Global 500 insurance company, Allianz. His insights and expertise have made him a sought-after voice in the industry, leading to features in renowned publications such as Time Magazine, Bloomberg, Entrepreneur, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, SmartAsset, The Simple Dollar, U.S. News and World Report, Women’s Health Magazine, and many more. Shawn’s driving ambition? To simplify retirement planning, he ensures his clients understand their choices and secure the best insurance coverage at unbeatable rates.

The Annuity Expert is an independent online insurance agency servicing consumers across the United States. The goal is to help you take the guesswork out of retirement planning and find the best insurance coverage at the cheapest rates

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