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Paying for Hospice Care

When you're making a decision about hospice care, the last thing you want to worry about is how to pay for it. 

Fortunately, the Medicare hospice benefit covers most of the cost, as do many private insurance companies. If you don’t qualify or you aren’t in a position to use either of these options, Medicaid is also an alternative that may be available in your state. 

If you need help understanding your coverage, our staff is always here to answer your questions and make sure you or your loved one receive the quality care you deserve.

 

Who Pays for Hospice Care?

The three most common ways to pay for hospice care are Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. 

Medicare
Federal health insurance programs can be a little confusing, but the Medicare hospice benefit is worth researching if you are considering hospice. If you have Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and meet the list of requirements, you qualify for hospice care.

Medicaid
If you’re in a lower income bracket or have a disability, you may be eligible for hospice coverage under Medicaid. The program varies from state to state, so it’s important to learn about the specific requirements and coverage for the state where you live.

Private Insurance
Many private insurance companies will cover the cost of hospice, and they usually model their coverage after Medicare. If you are considering hospice care for yourself or a loved one, it’s wise to reach out to your provider to get all the details before moving forward.

Qualifying for Medicare Hospice Benefits

Most people qualify for the Medicare hospice benefit if they meet the following requirements:

  • You or your loved one are eligible for Medicare Part A
  • A doctor and hospice physician certify that you or your loved one have a terminal illness and life expectancy of six months or less
  • You or your loved one want to receive hospice care instead of pursuing treatment to cure the illness

You can stop hospice care at any time if your situation changes, and you can pick it back up again later if you still meet the eligibility requirements. There are also no penalties for staying in hospice for more than six months. Your attending physician may need to recertify that the prognosis is still the same, but you can continue receiving care without interruption.

Learn more about Medicare hospice coverage at Medicare.gov.

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Hospice Care Covered by Private Insurance

The majority of people rely on Medicare and Medicaid to cover the cost of hospice care, but some people turn to private insurance. If you choose to go this route, it’s important to talk to your individual provider before moving forward. 

A lot of providers have the same requirements for hospice care coverage as Medicare: 

  • A doctor and hospice physician certify that you or your loved one have a terminal illness and life expectancy of six months or less
  • You or your loved one want to receive hospice care instead of pursuing treatment to cure the illness

If you meet the hospice care requirements outlined by your provider, your next step is learning exactly what services are covered through your individual plan and what out-of-pocket expenses you may be responsible for.

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Find a Brookdale Hospice Provider

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*The information contained on this page is provided for informational and educational purposes only, and it should not be construed as legal or financial advice. For further information, we recommend seeking out a legal or financial professional.