Paying for Quality Home Care in Philadelphia
How much does quality home care cost?
Let’s talk numbers.
In Philadelphia home care costs between $26 - $30 per hour on average. Hourly rates are driven by multiple factors including number of hours of care needed (typically agencies will offer lower hourly rates for more hours of care), the level of care needed–private duty nursing, home health care, personal care, or companionship, and finally the wages and benefits paid to caregivers, internal office staff, agency overhead and the like.
Do higher rates mean higher quality care?
This is a tricky question. Sometimes higher hourly rates will mean higher quality care, if those higher rates are being used to provide better caregiver compensation, more training, and better on-the-job support to caregivers including peer mentorship, supportive supervision, and grief counseling for example. Higher rates could also mean bigger profits for owners. While most of us would agree that owners should make profit from their businesses, the key question is, are profits being made at the expense of job quality and care quality?
How do I pay for quality home care services?
There are a variety of ways to pay for home care services. At a high-level, these include:
Out of Pocket Pay/Self Pay:
You, the family member needing care, or some combination pay for care services out of household income, savings, or other assets. If you will need to rely on out-of-pocket pay, you will want to carefully consider the level of care needed and your ability to pay, and you may want to consult with a financial advisor for advice.
Long-Term Care Insurance:
Long term care insurance policies can typically be utilized to reimburse home care costs. If your loved one has a long term care insurance policy, you will want to call the provider early in your process to understand what level of coverage you have and whether there are limitations on the types of coverage or the agencies you can employ.
Medicaid Long Term Services and Supports:
For individuals with low income and assets, Medicaid may be able to assist with home care payments. To qualify, you will need to reach out to your local Medicaid office to determine eligibility and understand what level of care your loved one qualifies for. While the process of applying for and receiving benefits can be long and cumbersome, Medicaid support can be incredibly helpful for those who cannot afford to pay out of pocket. In some cases, individuals may also begin by paying out of pocket, but then over time transition to Medicaid as they spend down their assets.
If you or your loved one served in the U.S military, you may be eligible to access financial support from the VA for home-based care. Services and benefits vary by location, so you will want to reach out to your local VA office to understand what benefits are available.
State or City Programs:
In addition to Medicaid and Veterans Affairs, many states and cities also have long term care programs that support seniors and people with disabilities to remain in their homes. Often programs provide funding to individuals who do not yet qualify for Medicaid but are not in a strong financial position to pay for home-based care out of pocket. To understand what types of programs might be available to support your loved one, contact your local Area Agency on Aging or Aging and Disability Resource Center for support.
How do I find a quality home care provider?
And how can I tell the difference between low quality and high quality providers?
As you begin to look for a care provider, you’ll want to ensure that the home care provider meets the quality and standards of care that you and your loved one deserves.
You can start your search by asking friends and family who receive home care services about the agency they work with.
Medical professionals, church leaders and other people in your community are also great resources to ask; often these individuals will have heard feedback from others in their community about the quality of services provided.
Your local Area Agency on Aging or Aging and Disability Resource Center is another great resource. While these entities are not allowed to preference agencies, they do monitor for quality and will remove agencies from their list that are not meeting state standards or otherwise, are not providing quality services.
Last but not least, the internet is a great resource for finding home care providers in your area. As you research online, consider reviews and
special credentials like BCorp Certification and Best of Home Care Information shared about training, care specializations and like
Finally, no matter where you find information on possible caregiving agencies, when you connect with agencies directly you can learn more about them by asking pointed questions.
Here are some questions that you can ask the home care providers you are considering, to help you choose the best provider for your needs:
- What is their hiring process, training protocols, and ongoing education for caregivers?
- How does the agency ensure consistent quality of care among their caregivers?
- How does the agency handle communication and feedback?
- Does the company have reviews from clients that share their experiences working with them?
How much does Quality Care cost at Home Care Associates?
At Home Care Associates services cost $22-$25 an hour. As a caregiver-owned company, 100% of your money goes to supporting quality jobs and quality care. We have a dual mission of providing quality home health care through quality jobs. Any profits made are reinvested in improving job quality so that our caregivers can continue to provide the best possible care for you and your loved ones.
For our cooperative, quality care comes through because all of our caregivers are also the owners and operators of our home care business. We all have a stake in the reputation of our home care company and would love to bring that quality care into your home. Reach out to learn more about the services we provide.