Medicare covers hospice care, so you likely won’t have to pay anything for it. However, there are details to this coverage that you need to be aware of, including some instances where Medicare won’t cover hospice care.
What’s Included in Your Hospice Coverage
You receive coverage for hospice care through Medicare Part A but, you must meet certain qualifications to be eligible, including:
- Certification of a terminal illness by your hospice or regular doctor
- A signed agreement that you choose hospice care instead of other Medicare-covered treatments for your terminal illness and related conditions. In other words, you accept comfort (palliative) care over actual treatment to cure your illness.
Accepting a terminal illness is a difficult thing to do, but if you’re willing to accept these conditions, you’ll receive full coverage. And there are plenty of benefits included in this coverage:
- Aide and homemaker services
- Dietary counseling
- Doctors services
- Durable medical equipment
- Inpatient respite care
- Medical supplies
- Nursing and medical services
- Occupational therapy services
- Physical therapy services
- Short-term inpatient care
- Social services
- Speech-language pathology services
- Spiritual and grief counseling
- Other services to manage your pain or other symptoms related to your terminal illness
Because you have to agree to avoid treatment to qualify for hospice care, that means you are not eligible for hospice benefits through Medicare for anything intended to treat your illness.
Cost of Hospice Care
Now, for costs—with Medicare Part A, you’ll pay nothing for hospice care. Of the benefits listed above, however, there are a few specific ones that do require a very small out-of-pocket payment:
- Copayments up to $5 for pain and symptom management outpatient drugs. If Part A doesn’t cover the drugs you need, you may consider enrolling in a Medicare Part D plan to get the coverage you need. However, your hospice benefits will more than likely cover it.
- 5% of the Medicare-approved amount for inpatient respite care.
- You may pay for room and board if you stay in a facility like a nursing home.
To make a long story short, yes, hospice is covered by Medicare.
No More Mystery—Call the Medicare Sharks
With the right support, you won’t have questions about your benefits and costs through Medicare. That’s what the Medicare Sharks do—we make your coverage less of a mystery and more of a breeze. To learn more, call us at (561) 288-2080 or (561) 288-2396.