The Cost of Hospice and Who Pays For It

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Hospice care is a form of specialized care that is focused on making the lives of terminally ill patients more comfortable. Those who are approved for a hospice care program usually have six months or less to live. Hospice care doesn’t usually involve aggressive or curative treatment of illness, but instead is centered upon the providing of comfort measures for the patient such as pain management, help with personal care, and spiritual and emotional support. Although hospice care involves a team of trained professionals, it is not necessarily an expensive form of care. Much of this care is covered by various private insurances, as well as both Medicare and Medicaid.

Medicare

The vast majority of hospice care services are paid for by Medicare. This is because of the Medicare hospice benefit, which is part of Medicare Part A. This hospice benefit covers just about everything that is related to hospice care, from the nursing care and home personal care to short-term inpatient care and medications. It also covers medical equipment and supplies. This Medicare hospice benefit is for those patients who are age 65 and older, and who are certified by a doctor as having less than six months to live. However, patients who live longer than that six-month period can continue to get this coverage if their doctor re-certifies them at that time.

Medicaid

Those who have low income may qualify for hospice care coverage from Medicaid. This coverage varies by state, but usually covers the same things that Medicare covers, from nursing care to medications and equipment. To qualify for Medicare, a person’s income must generally be less than 133 percent of the federal poverty line. This is approximately $32,000 annually for a family of four.

Private Insurance

Private health insurance often also covers hospice care, especially for those who are under 65 years of age. While most private insurance policies offer some kind of hospice care coverage, the amount of coverage can vary, and there may be deductibles and co-pays which will be triggered before the coverage begins to take effect. To find out what is covered, consult with your private insurance policy for those important details.

Find Out More About Hospice Care Today

If you’re interested in learning more about hospice care services and payment options, contact Ameriprime Hospice today by calling 1-800-899-9790.