Paying for Hospice Care
After determining eligibility for hospice care, one of the concerns many patients and families express is how to pay for hospice services. The good news is that most hospice care in the United States is covered by Medicare or Medicaid. A smaller percentage is covered by the Veteran’s Health Administration, and private health insurance provides an even smaller amount.
What’s Covered by Medicare?
Hospice care provided under Medicare Part A covers nearly all hospice expenses. The exceptions are:
- Patients may have a copayment of up to $5 for each prescription for outpatient drugs for pain and symptom management.
- The patient may pay 5% for inpatient respite care.
Services that Medicare covers include:
- Healthcare Professionals – Physicians, nurses, nurses’ aides
- Durable medical equipment and medical supplies
- Pain management medication
- Physical, occupational, and speech-language therapy
- Dietary counseling
- Social services
- Bereavement counseling for the patient and their family
- Other services as needed and recommended by your hospice care team.
The Medicare Hospice Benefit allows for services wherever the patient feels most comfortable – in their own home or the home of a caregiver, an assisted living or skilled nursing facility, or even a hospital.
Hospice Services With Medicaid or Private Insurance
While states have different Medicaid eligibility requirements for hospice, most have the same basic rules for Medicare and Medicaid. Hospice care provided by Medicaid is covered at no cost to the patient or their family.
Private insurance companies often offer full coverage for hospice care, though individual providers can offer unique plans.