When it comes to paying for such services, those with long-term insurance who are eligible for Medicaid and Medicare assistance will have the lowest out-of-pocket expense -- but the requirements are stringent. AARP notes that Medicaid or Medicare will not cover home care alone, but only if the patient is homebound and under a doctor's care. The agency must also meet federal standards and provide skilled nursing service to qualify.
When choosing an agency, check on whether it is certified by federal programs, whether it offers a sliding-scale fee structure, and how it bills for services.
It is also important to check whether the agency is state-licensed, offers services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and has certain quality standards in place. For instance, there should be outlined procedures to deal with staffers who are late, absent, rude or inadequately trained. The agency should also be insured against theft and loss in case the staffer steals items or causes damage to the home.