Medicare Hospice Coverage
Medicare hospice coverage may give you or a loved one the financial support needed for end-of-life care. Medicare can cover hospice costs, as long as certain eligibility requirements are met, such as:
The person is terminally ill, which means her or his life expectancy is six months or less
Beneficiary agrees to palliative care, rather than care to cure the illness
The person signs a statement choosing hospice care instead of other Medicare benefits
Your doctor or attorney can help you make these decisions and put certification of them in place to protect your rights to care.
Services Covered Under Hospice Care
If the above information is true, Medicare hospice coverage can include a range of services, such as:
Skilled nursing services
Skilled therapy services
Medical supplies related to home health care
Short-term inpatient care
Respite care, up to five days at a time
Medical social services
Spiritual or religious counseling
Nutrition and dietary counseling
Durable medical equipment needed to relieve pain or manage your terminal medical condition
Hospice aides and homemaker services, which may include personal care services
such as toileting, bathing, dressing and homemaker services, such as changing the bed, light cleaning and laundry
Your Medicare palliative care follows the same provided services. Be sure to double-check with your policy to ensure that your desired service is covered before accepting that care. It’s also important to note that Medicare may require you to obtain these services and equipment through only Medicare-approved providers.
Medicare Hospice Coverage Questions
What Does a Person Pay for Hospice and Palliative Care?
If you meet hospice qualifications under Medicare, you do not pay anything for that hospice care. That applies if you are utilizing Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B). If you are unsure if your medical care is covered or what your financial obligations may be, contact your policy provider for more insight and support.
You may need to pay for prescription drugs administered under hospice and palliative care. There is a $5 copay for each prescription drug.
Do Medicare Advantage Plans Cover Hospice and Palliative Care?
For Medicare Advantage, hospice care may be covered, as it is under Original Medicare. However, every plan is different. It is important to contact your plan administrator to get more information about whether your Medicare Part C coverage will provide the services you need in hospice.