Accepting the idea that someone has reached a point where conventional medicine will most likely not be able to keep them alive is difficult for anyone. But not accepting it can mean a person doesn’t get the care they need to help them through the process.
According to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, 1.49 million Medicare beneficiaries accepted it and were enrolled in hospice care in 2017. By doing so, the people had access to specialized care and had a support system to lean on.
Some may delay entering hospice because they are worried about hospice care costs. So understanding ahead of time about what is covered and what isn’t can help relieve some of those worries.
Read on to learn more.
What Is Hospice Care
A basic hospice care definition is that it provides support and care to people who are terminally ill. It switches the focus from curing what ails the person to helping the person be more comfortable. This is referred to as palliative care.
The folks at Cardinal Hospice believe the end of life deserves as much recognition as the beginning. Palliative care provides this by supporting people’s individual day-to-day physical, emotional and mental needs.
Most people receive hospice care at home, but hospice services can also be provided in a hospital, long-term care facility or hospice unit, when necessary.
Here’s what you need to know about who pays for it.
1. Who Qualifies for Medicare Hospice
People who are eligible for Medicare Part A and both their doctor and a hospice doctor certify they have less than six months life expectancy, they are eligible for Medicare hospice. People can and do sometimes live longer. If so, they can receive hospice care for additional 60-day intervals.
2. What Does Medicare Hospice Cover
Medicare hospice benefits pay for all reasonable and necessary care. It includes things like doctors, nurses, hospital beds, drugs for pain and to relieve symptoms, short term stays at inpatient facilities, respite care, counseling, medical devices, and bereavement services.
3. What Isn’t Covered by Medicare Hospice
Even if you qualified for Medicare hospice, there will be expenses that won’t get covered. Here are some of those items:
- Ambulance services (unless it is arranged by your hospice care team)
- Health care treatment intended to cure your terminal illness
- Your medicare and other health insurance premiums, if any
- $5.00 prescription co-payments
- Medical treatment you seek from outside of your hospice care team
- Won’t pay for your room and board (except when your hospice care team determines you need inpatient or respite care)
4. Who Else Will Pay for Hospice Care
Other options for receiving hospice care benefits are your state’s Medicaid and private insurance. If you can’t pay for hospice care, talk to your hospice provider to find out what charities can help. If you work for or retired from the military, you are eligible for hospice care under Tricare.
Don’t Delay Getting Care
There is no reason to suffer needlessly when Medicare and the other hospice care programs are available to cover your hospice care costs.
So if you or one of your loved ones qualify for hospice care, let your hospice care team provide the comfort and care that is needed.
Continue reading our site to find more information about health care and living your best life.