Older Floridians make up nearly 25% of Florida’s population, with the greatest percentage of those 65 and older living on the gulf coast. The average cost of a personal care aide in Florida is $20 per hour, however costs vary by region. Costs will vary depending on your need for an in-home aide for personal or companion care vs. a skilled medical provider like a nurse or therapist. The average cost of a personal care aide in Florida is $20 per hour, however costs vary by region. Personal care aides assist aging individuals with household tasks and basic activities of daily living whereas home health aides can provide in-home health services under the supervision of a licensed nurse. You’ll pay less for the services of a home health aide than you would for a visit from a skilled medical specialist.
Generally, Medicare coverage is determined by the type of services provided. Original Medicare will only cover medically-necessary home health care that is ordered by a physician on a short-term basis. Eligible services must be offered by a Medicare-certified provider. Personal care services will only be covered if they are part of a scope of services that includes the need for in-home skilled medical care. For more information on qualifying conditions and Medicare covered home care services, Medicare provides an eligibility tool on the Medicare.gov website.
Each state runs its Medicaid program differently, so eligibility and benefits are different in every state. Make sure you research home care benefits specific to the state where care will be provided. All 50 states have some type of program that pays for home care for the elderly, however the benefit is dependent on which type of Medicaid program the senior is enrolled in. To learn more about Medicaid eligibility for home care benefits, research both the Medicaid State Plan as well as the PACE – Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly in Florida.
Before choosing a home care agency, research the requirements for licensing or certification in your state. For home and community support services in Florida, state licensing is issued by the Agency for Healthcare Administration. The Care Provider Background Screening Clearinghouse processes background screenings for all health care providers in Florida. Ongoing licensing visits are performed to ensure operational procedures comply with state rules. Caregivers who work with a licensed agency are bonded and ensured by the organization they work for. Keep in mind that the best agencies will go above and beyond the state’s minimal certification requirements.
For a comprehensive list of programs and services available to seniors in Miami, visit the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. Home and community programs including benefits counseling, health and wellness programs and senior legal resources are available to help Florida seniors remain safely and comfortably in their home.