Who pays for home modifications?
Private Pay – In California, home modifications have traditionally been paid for by the individual with a few exceptions. Although that is still largely the case, more third-party payer options exist, especially for individuals at high risk and those with limited resources. Fortunately, many home modifications are low cost, and major improvements can often be made for only a few hundred dollars.
Veterans Administration – The VA has a generous home modification benefit and grant programs available for service connected disabled veterans. The veteran needs to initiate the process through his or her VA clinician or therapist. Authorization for services from the VA is necessary prior to having any work performed in order for the expense to be covered or reimbursed.
Community Agencies – Numerous community agencies receive grant, state or city funding for home modifications. Funding and eligibility vary widely. Reaching out to each county’s Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is a good place to start. Rebuilding Together is a national non-profit that provides some home modification services as well. An application and often a lengthy lead time is required in order to receive services.
Independent Living Centers – Many Independent Living Centers receive some funding for Home Adaptations. An application and often a lengthy lead time is required in order to receive services.
Programs for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) – Services may be provided on a case by case basis as prescribed within the plan of care.
Long-Term Care Insurance – Many long-term insurance programs include a Stay at Home benefit (also referred to as Equipment/Home Modifications) which covers home modifications specified within a Plan of Care (developed by a Care Manager). Desired modifications must be approved by the insurer prior to completion in order to be eligible for reimbursement.
Medicare Advantage Plans – Beginning in 2018, Medicare Advantage plans have the flexibility to include supplemental benefits including home modifications. Check with your insurer for their terms and conditions or consider changing plans.
Why not hire a handyman for home safety modifications?
Home safety modifications are a niche specialty that require substantial experience and training in order to be delivered appropriately. Our technicians spend months learning the appropriate standards, techniques, products and processes associated with making homes safer and more accessible before servicing a client on their own. We are expert not only at assessing your specific individual needs, but also at determining the most appropriate solution, and ensuring that it is installed appropriately given your particular home. Grab bar placement and securement are so important and so often inappropriately done by non-experts. Handymen may be terrific for other home repair tasks, but we advise against relying upon them when it comes to ensuring your safety at home.
How does your service work?
We come to the home prepared to help as much as we can in a single visit. We assess your entire home and discuss any mobility related challenges you are experiencing. We’ll share our best suggestions and provide a written proposal with the costs broken down by each solution. For our most common standard solutions, we are prepared to go ahead and perform the installations right then and there.
We can do so because,
- we equip our vehicles with all of the tooling, product and equipment we most frequently need, and
- the individual that comes to your home is a trained safety technician (not a salesperson) capable of efficiently and securely installing solutions to enhance your independence immediately.
What does it cost?
We do not charge for our telephone consultations, and we can usually provide firm quotes right over the phone for nearly all of our services. Our home assessments are generally free of charge as well as long as we are performing some sort of paid service (e.g. grab bar installation) during the visit. Should wish to only use our consultation expertise, we then charge $125 per hour for that service.
Installations obviously vary widely depending upon the scope of services required. Standard grab bar installations average approximately $175 per bar installed. Custom railings typically run from $500 to $1,500. Wheelchair ramps are best quoted over the phone or in person as the range is so significant. Stair lifts likewise have a significant range starting at about $4,000. Shower conversions start at $10,000, but so often we are able to offer a less costly alternative for consideration as well. It only takes a minute to call us, Chat or text us some photos, and we are happy to give you pricing indications right on the spot.
How soon can the work be done?
For our standard services, we are prepared and equipped to perform same day installations. Wheelchair ramps and straight stair lifts can often be done the next day as we keep a large inventory of both new and used equipment in stock at all times. Special order items like railings typically take a week to fabricate before we can return to install. Custom curved lifts and shower conversions often have a several week lead time.
What area do you service?
We serve all of Northern California (although remote rural areas may incur travel charges). We are happy to refer you to other providers if you reside outside of our territory as we are familiar with many providers across the country.