Does Medicare Pay for Hospice?

Hospice care can play a crucial part in providing people with the level of comfort they need during their final days. With this in mind, it’s important to know if Medicare will provide coverage for the services provided by hospice.

Hospice Care and Original Medicare

Your primary doctor (if you have one) and your hospice doctor are required to deem you terminally ill, giving you a life expectancy of fewer than six months. You must sign a form stating you accept hospice care rather than other Medicare-approved services to treat your illness. 

Hospice care includes the following coverage:

  • All items/services required for pain relief and symptom management
  • Medical, nursing, and social services
  • Pain management drugs
  • Durable medical equipment needed for pain relief and symptom management
  • Aide and homemaker services
  • Other covered services to provide pain management, as well as spiritual and grief support for you and your family. 

If you are covered under Original Medicare, you owe nothing for hospice care. 

What Is Included in Hospice Care?

If you qualify for hospice care covered by Medicare, then you will qualify for multiple services, such as doctors’ services, nursing services, and medical services. It can also include durable medical equipment and medical supplies, such as bandages. Aide, homemaker, and physical therapy services also fall under this category. Occupational services, as well as speech-language pathology services, are also covered in Medicare hospice care. Medicare hospice care coverage will provide coverage for social, spiritual, and grief services for you and your family. Short-term inpatient care in a Medicare-approved facility is also covered under your hospice care plan. Medicare will also provide inpatient respite care in a Medicare-approved facility so that your usual caregiver can rest. Respite care can only last five days at a time on an occasional basis. This will be set up by your hospice provider. 

What Will Hospice Care Not Cover?

Once your hospice benefits begin, you will no longer receive coverage treatment to cure your condition, prescription drugs to cure your illness, care from a hospice provider not chosen and set up by a hospice medical team, room and board, care you receive as a hospital outpatient, inpatient hospital care, or ambulance transportation.

Understanding the coverage you will receive with your Medicare plan is always important. That’s why at Carolina Senior Benefits, we will walk you through your options and make sure you have the coverage you need. To learn more about Medicare and the coverage provided by each part, reach out to us today!