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Hospice Care

Hospice Care: What Does Medicare Cover?

What is hospice care?

Hospice care is for people who are chronically, terminally, or seriously ill. This type of care is usually long term and takes place in the home rather than in a hospital or another medical facility.

When someone makes the choice to go with hospice care, in most cases they have stopped trying to find a cure for their illness, and want care that will keep them comfortable and in their home.

What does Medicare cover?

Medicare covers many options through Medicare Part A. You can be qualified for coverage as long as you meet requirements deemed necessary by your doctor, accept palliative care, and sign an agreement that you are seeking hospice care rather than treatments for your condition.

At the beginning, your regular doctor and hospice doctor have to certify you as terminally ill. Following that, at the beginning of each benefit period, the hospice doctor must recertify you. Typically hospice is for those who have 6 months or less to live. You can get hospice care for two 90-day periods, then an unlimited number of 60-day periods.

The following list is what Medicare covers according to the medicare.gov website:

  • Doctor services
  • Nursing care
  • Medical equipment
  • Medical supplies
  • Prescription drugs for symptom control or pain relief
  • Hospice aide and homemaker services
  • Physical therapy services
  • Occupational therapy services
  • Speech-language pathology services
  • Social work services
  • Dietary counseling
  • Grief and loss counseling
  • Short-term inpatient care

What does Medicare not cover?

While Medicare offers many options when it comes to hospice care, there are things that Medicare will not cover.

Some of the following are things Medicare will NOT cover:

  • Treatment to cure a terminal illness
  • Room and board
  • Hospital outpatient care
  • Care that’s not set up through hospice medical team

Medicare Costs

The only costs you will have for hospice care is your copay for prescriptions. You may also have to pay five percent of the Medicare-approved amount if you receive inpatient respite care. As stated above, Medicare does not cover costs of room and board if you spend time in the hospital.

The new Medicare Plus Card saves you up to 75% on things not covered by Medicare

Medicare doesn’t cover everything. Luckily, those on Medicare can now start saving on out of pocket expenses like prescription drugs, dental, vision, hearing, and more. Over 1 million people have already received their free Medicare Plus Card.

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