Medicare Hospice Coverage
Hospice care is always an extremely difficult situation, but the financial stress of end of life care is one issue that isn’t often considered. Hospice allows terminally ill people, as well as their families, to continue to live their lives with the most possible comfort.
Hospice care is also a more flexible care option than many people realize. Some hospice care patients receive their care in designated care facilities, while others may be cared for in the comfort of their own homes. In addition to better-known medical care options, hospice can also involve counseling services for both the patient and their families.
What Portion of Hospice Care Is Covered by Medicare?
Thankfully, Medicare is available to help make sure that everything we and our loved ones need is provided should hospice become necessary. However, there are still rules and regulations involved as to how much hospice care is actually covered by Medicare.
A given Medicare recipient must be eligible for and covered by Medicare Part A. They also need to be on record of having a proposed life expectancy of half a year (6 months) or less in order to achieve eligibility. Hospice care differs from traditional medical care in that it is focused on making a given patient comfortable during their final months of life, as opposed to actually treating the disease or attempting to cure it.
The hospice benefits provided to Medicare beneficiaries generally cover four distinct levels of care.
The four levels of care are:
- Routine Home Care
- In-patient Care
- Respite Care
- Continuous Home Care
The most commonly utilized type of care is routine home care. Rates and eligibility attached to each level of care can vary, so you may want to get in touch with a Medicare insurance representative in order to obtain more information pertaining to your situation.
Some hospice care services are also covered under Medigap, Medicare’s supplemental insurance program. However, there are several Medigap plan options available, so whether or not you or your loved one will be covered will depend completely upon which of these plans they’ve subscribed to.
At the end of the day, the reality of situations that require hospice care can be hard to get through, but the process becomes infinitely easier with Medicare in your corner.