Launched over three decades ago, the program assures that terminally ill Medicare patients receive the medical, social support and end-of-life care they need, in the comfort of their own home. More than 85 percent of all hospice patients today are covered by Medicare, at little or no cost to them or their caregivers.
Through the Medicare Hospice Benefit, you’ll have a full care team of doctors, other healthcare professionals and support staff available to help you and your family, 24/7. You may also designate your regular doctor or a nurse practitioner to be part of your medical team and supervise your care as the attending medical professional. The choice is yours. The specific services you and your family receive are based on your unique needs.
Medicare typically covers 100% of expenses if these requirements are met.
- You must choose to receive hospice care and give up treatments intended to cure your terminal illness;
- Your doctor and the medical director of a hospice program must certify that you probably have less than six months to live, according to their best clinical judgment;
- You must have Medicare Part A hospital insurance;
- You must enroll in a Medicare-approved hospice program.
The Medicare Hospice Benefit provides coverage for the following services:
- Doctor services
- Nursing care
- Medical equipment (like wheelchairs or walkers)
- Medical supplies (like bandages and catheters)
- Prescription drugs
- Hospice aide and homemaker services
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Speech-language pathology services
- Social worker services
- Dietary counseling
- Grief and loss counseling for you and your family
- Short-term inpatient care (for pain and symptom management)
- Short-term respite care
- Any other Medicare-covered services needed to manage your terminal illness