Hospice Myths: Hospice Is Too Expensive
One aspect of hospice that keeps families from asking for the services is the price. When you think about the benefits of having your loved one on hospice care, it is easy to assume that it must be expensive. In reality, you do not have to pay for hospice care out of pocket. There are several ways that you can receive help in paying for hospice.
How to Pay for Hospice Care
Rather than defer hospice care due to financial concerns, rest assured that federal and state government programs pay up to 100% of the cost of hospice services. Additionally, most private health insurance plans align with Medicare for eligibility requirements and covered benefits . Patients are eligible to receive hospice care when a physician has diagnosed them with a life-limiting condition with a prognosis of six months or less.
- Medicare/Medicare Advantage Plans: If a patient has Medicare Part A and meets hospice eligibility requirements, Medicare covers all hospice services (including supplies, medical equipment, and nursing care) without requiring a deductible or co- Prescription drugs related to the terminal illness are covered but may incur up to a $5 co-payment. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan before starting hospice, Original Medicare will cover your hospice care. You may opt to keep your Advantage Plan for other benefits, as long as you continue to pay your premiums. If the patient lives longer than the six-month prognosis, there are no consequences. Hospice is simply extended in 60-day increments until the service is no longer required.
- Medicaid: Medicaid offers similar coverage to Medicare in most states.
- Private Insurance: If you have insurance for your family or through a job, the insurance will list hospice benefits and what they will cover. Each insurance plan is going to be different, so look into your plan to find out what assistance you can receive.
- Military Coverage: If you are a military family, hospice coverage will be accessed through Tricare.
- No Coverage Assistance: If you do not qualify for Medicare or Medicaid and do not have insurance, most hospice providers will have assistance for any family in need. If you are eligible for the aid, you can sign your loved one up for hospice care without paying a giant medical bill.
All of these resources will point you to the assistance you need. It can be harrowing to watch your loved one suffer, and most hospice families say they wish they would have signed up for the care earlier in the process. Learn about your options now so that you do not wait too long when your loved one needs hospice services.
If you think it’s too early for hospice care or if you are worried about the cost, please call our Bonita Springs Healthcare Services team with questions about hospice and your specific situation.
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