Insurance for Home Health Care Providers

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do Home Health Care Providers Need Insurance?

Establishments in this industry provide healthcare services, including general in-home hospice care or health care services for the elderly and persons with disabilities. Health care agencies, visiting nurse associations, adult activity centers, companion services, and disability support groups are all a part of this industry.

The demand for home health care providers is booming because a lot of people, regardless of age, prefer in-home healthcare over nursing homes. However, taking care of people in their homes poses many more risks than those in a medical facility. Having insurance means that your business is protected from the many known and unknown risks by paying for the covered expenses. This saves you from having to spend your business and personal assets on these expenses.

While being a home health care provider is certainly a rewarding job, dealing with the health and well-being of a person has its challenges. Due to the risks that you face as a home health care aid, it is critical that you obtain the best home health care liability insurance to avoid losing your business, and maybe even your personal assets. The cost of one single claim can be enough to put anyone out of business, and maybe even cause them to file bankruptcy.

If you have employees, you should have insurance to help protect them if they are hurt or ill, and if you are negligent as a business owner. Insurance is not just about protecting you and your business, but also protecting employees and other third parties that may come into contact with you through the course of your business. Having a well-rounded home health care business insurance portfolio can be the deciding factor of how long you are doing this rewarding job.

What risks do Home Health Care Providers face?

Home health care services and home health nurses are prone to a variety of health hazards and risks rather than working in a medical facility. Below are some of the risks your business can face:

  • Your nurse provides a medical treatment that causes the patient more harm than good. You’ll be responsible for expenses coming from the damages caused and if the client sues your business.
  • Your nurse catches a communicable disease from a patient. Your business will be responsible for the medical expenses until your nurse is fit to work.
  • If you are in the home of a patient providing services and fail to keep items out of their walkway and they end up tripping and falling over an item and injuring themselves, they or their family may decide to hold you responsible.
  • Working in other people’s homes leaves you open to damaging their property. If you are rushing around the home and knock over an heirloom, there could be no replacing it which could certainly upset some clients.
  • A client who has had surgery recently may develop an infection if you miss changing their bandaging at the right time. They or their family could sue you for negligence and without insurance, you could be in trouble.

How Much Does Insurance for Home Health Care Providers Cost?

You may be wondering about home health care business insurance cost as it relates to your budget. While it may be tempting to go with the cheapest rate, this is definitely not always the best option. On the flip side, neither is the most expensive. You should weigh all of your options including coverage limits, deductibles, and premium amounts and decide what works best for you.

The cost of insurance for home health care services depends on the size of your business, the number of employees you have and many other factors. Without taking these into account, below are the average cost of standard insurance policies:

  • General Liability insurance cost $500 in annual premiums.
  • Workers' Compensation costs $1000 in annual premiums.
  • Professional Liability insurance costs $700 in annual premiums

Here are some additional factors that each insurance company will take into account.

  • Experience – As long as you have been in the industry for a decent amount of time, you should be able to get affordable home health care insurance coverage. Being new to the home health care aid world may prove to be challenging obtaining insurance, and you may have to pay a bit more.
  • Claims History – Certainly, if you have had claims in the past the insurance company is going to factor this in when determining your price.

What Type of Insurance Is Needed for a Home Care Business?

There are several necessary insurance policies that a home health care business should have. As a home health care provider, you have to protect yourself, your business, and your employees if you have any.

  • General Liability – Designed to cover third party claims of bodily injury and property damage. If you are in a patients’ home and they become injured by cutting themselves with a knife you left out after making lunch, the family will likely sue you. You could potentially damage something inside a clients’ home as well, which would be covered here.
  • Professional Liability – Depending on your scope of work, the claims you see here can vary. An example would be if you neglected to move a bed-ridden patient and they developed bed sores. Or if you accidentally gave the wrong medication and the patient became ill. There is an abundant number of things that could happen with being a home health care professional that would be covered under this critical insurance policy.
  • Commercial Auto – Because you are driving to and from clients’ homes, there is a high chance that your Personal Auto insurance policy is not going to pay a claim if you are at fault in an accident. The moment you start to use your vehicle for a business purpose, it must be insured on a Commercial Auto insurance policy.
  • Workers Compensation – Do you have employees or plan to? If the answer is yes then you will need to obtain Workers Compensation insurance. Not only is it a legal requirement in almost every state, but it’s just the right thing to do. If an employee becomes injured or ill due to their job and is unable to work, this policy will provide their lost wages and medical expenses.

Do Home Nurses Need Malpractice Insurance?

Home health nurses have an extra layer of risks to face since they are providing more medical services than a home health aid. Just like a nursing home would need nursing home malpractice insurance, you will need malpractice insurance as well. Working for a nursing home usually means that they will cover you under their malpractice insurance, but as a home health nurse, this is not usually the case. Often you may be working as an independent contractor so you will be responsible for your own insurance.

Unlike General Liability insurance, malpractice or Professional Liability (also known as Errors & Omissions or E&O) is a very specific type of protection. It will provide coverage for the following:

  • Negligence – Whether the negligence is actual or simply perceived to be if a lawsuit is brought against you as a home health nurse alleging negligence you must defend yourself. Things, like forgetting to change a dressing, moving a patient that is immobile, and leaving things out that they should not have access to, are all mistakes that can be seen as negligent.
  • Defense – Even if you do nothing wrong, you will have to go to court. Lawyers and court costs to defend yourself can add up quickly, and amount to more than tens of thousands of dollars. Most people who work a full-time or part-time job do not have enough money saved to pay for a claim of this magnitude.
  • Settlements or Judgments – If the judge in your case awards any judgments, or you decide to settle outside of court that money will have to come from somewhere. Even if it is a small amount of money, you don’t want to have to spend your life savings on it, when you can simply invest a little bit of money into the proper insurance protection, like malpractice insurance.

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