Hospice is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance plans.
Hospice care is a covered benefit under Medicare for patients with a prognosis of six months or less. A patient can remain in hospice care beyond six months if a physician re-certifies that the patient is terminally ill. Medicare covers the following hospice services for terminal illness and related conditions:
- Physician consultations
- Nurse visits
- Emotional and spiritual support from social workers and chaplains
- Medical support by home health aides
- Home medical equipment
- Routine home care in the comfort of the patient's home
- General inpatient care in a medical setting, if needed
- Continuous care with round-the-clock support to manage a patient's medical crisis
- Respite care to provide rest for the caregiver and family
- Bereavement support for 13 months following the patient's death
The patient is responsible for a small co-payment of the cost for outpatient drugs and inpatient respite care. This Medicare brochure outlines the specifics of Medicare coverage for hospice services. Medicare will still pay for covered benefits for any health problems that aren't related to terminal illness.
Medicaid and private insurance coverage
Medicaid covers hospice care in many states. Most private health insurance policies also cover hospice care, although room and board for inpatient care is not usually covered by insurance. Families should check with their health insurance provider or call Alegent Creighton Health at Home - Hospice at 402-898-8000 to verify coverage.