Understanding Home Health Services When You Are Visually Impaired

First Talk to Your Physician About Home Health

If you are in need of home health services, you should first talk to your physician. If you are a Medicare recipient, your physician must sign an order for home health services and you have to meet Medicare’s definition of “homebound” to receive such services. There should be no co-pay for individuals receiving traditional Medicare. If you are on Medicare, you can check your Medicare and You booklet or call 1-800-Medicare for assistance. If you are covered through a Medicare Advantage plan, you should call the customer service number for the plan. If you have a regular insurance policy, you need to determine your co-pay and/or deductible responsibilities. If you cannot access your insurance policy call the customer service number for the plan. If you are a Medicaid recipient, you will need to contact customer service about co-pays.

What To Do When You Are Receiving Home Health Services

Once you are receiving home health services, such as in-home physical therapy, you will be asked to sign a great deal of paperwork. If you cannot see well enough to read the forms you are being asked to sign, here are some steps to take:

  • Ask the provider to read the entire form aloud.
  • Be aware of typical charges for future visits.
  • Ask the provider to review the specific charges each time you are asked to sign.
  • Question any unusual charges.
  • Call the main office of the provider to resolve any concerns.
  • Keep copies of the forms in date order.
  • Verify charges with your insurance company.
  • Keep all Explanation of Benefits forms you receive in the mail from the insurance company.
  • Keep all invoices or statements you receive in the mail from the home health provider.

Additional Considerations

If you are unable to read the forms, you may want to ask someone you trust to review the forms to determine if there are any unusual charges or issues with your insurance coverage.

Also, you may want to pursue low vision rehabilitation services to determine if you can read again. Consider visiting a low vision specialist and exploring low vision optical devices or non-optical devices such as electronic magnifiers for magnifying printed material.

Also, if you have a problem with signing your name, you may benefit from using a signature guide that helps you stay on the line.

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