Vets/Spouses/Widows Medical Need & Home Health Aids Answered....

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by VA13, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. VA13

    VA13 Newbie

    Hello, I'm new. I've been helping my mom (widow of vet) since 2004 and have learned a lot regarding medical needs.....

    Your loved one does not have to see a VA doctor for medical help. Medicare will pay other doctors. Medicare may pay for all or part of the expense. Also, check to see your loved one has CHAMPVA medical insurance or another type of medical insurance which will pick up what Medicare does not. If they do not have Medicare or CHAMPVA, enroll them. VA may also have other insurance types they my qualify for. Sometimes loved ones forget they have medical insurance, so ask.

    Many Geriatric doctors take Medicare. Even therapists. This is especially important when your loved one is in need of medical evaluations to apply for various VA pensions. I haven't had to take my mother once to see a VA doctor or hospital. It's all been taken care by Medicare or CHAMPVA insurance. Medicare also pays for her to see a podiatrist. If one doctor doesn't take Medicare, another one will, just keep searching.

    If your loved one is having trouble leaving their home, there's Mobile Doctors who make house calls which Medicare pays for. Many of them also take other types of insurance, so ask.

    Also, if a doctor evaluates your loved one and sees there's a need for "temporary" Home Health Care, the doctor can assign a certified Home Health Care agency on his list or you can find a certified HHC along with doctor approval. Medicare will pay for it.
    HOWEVER, to extend HHC a "bit longer", your doctor must put in a request every three months with Medicare as well as the HHC. Your parent also needs to be considered "HOMEBOUND"....that's the key word..."HOMEBOUND"... meaning they're confined at home for a medical reason, but they can leave for doctors appts etc. with someones assistance. There are many sites which explain the term "Medicare Homebound".

    If your loved one needs long term help with a higher level of care, toilet, clothing, bathing, diapering, feeding, meals, constant safety checks, you can apply for "Aid & Attendance" which will cover the cost of a Home Health Aid Worker. You have to have proper doctor documentation to prove the need and receipts for expenses. Or if YOU'RE the person who's going to take on the higher level of care, you should request "Aid & Attendance" if you feel their level of care is going to cost more. Proper documentation and receipts for expenses are also mandatory.
    But if your loved ones level of care is not very high yet, but is still dependent upon YOUR assistance, you can apply for "Aid & Attendance" and they may award a family member (Not Spouses) a very low amount. You'll still have to prove the need.

    ~NOTE: "Aid & Attendance" is a "supplemental" pension for health care assistance. Your loved one is still entitled to their regular pension, and can request the added "Aid & Attendance" pension to supplement the cost of health care. However, "certain pensions" will not allow for Aid & Attendance. You should research the VA web site or call the VA pension center to get correct answers to your questions. This web site also may have the information.

    Buyer beware. Even though many Home Health Care (HHC) agencies are certified, some are not very good! You must stay on top of them. Check in frequently to see if your loved one is getting proper care the doctor has ordered. I have already gone through two HHC who were slack with my mothers care. And if your loved one requires Hospice Care, you also have to be on top of that as well. True. Some HHC agencies are amazing and others are short staffed or just plain lazy.

    If you parent has absolutely no assets, they can apply for Medicade or MediCal which may pay for Home Health Care Aid or Nursing Home or Assisted Living. Aid & Attendance may also pay for these facilities if there's a need.

    Medicare will pay for an Alzheimer's evaluation.

    I hope this's been a long and winding road for myself and my mom.... :'(
  2. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Re: Vet & Spouses medical needs and Home Health Aids answered....

    Thanks for sharing your insights and what you have learned along the way.
  3. VA13

    VA13 Newbie

    Re: Vet & Spouses medical needs and Home Health Aids answered....

    No, seriously, Thank You Debbie for your support! You and your mom are truly a blessing to the masses! The VA in the past has been cryptic in full disclosure of information and help. I too have experienced this in the past while trying to help my mom.
  4. vetadmin

    vetadmin Administrator Staff Member

    Re: Vet & Spouses medical needs and Home Health Aids answered....

    Thank you!!

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