Does Medicare Pay for Hospice?

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Picking the right health insurance plan can be challenging. Of course, you want the price of care to be affordable and to fit your budget, but it’s also important to consider what benefits you get with any insurance plan. While a high deductible or premium may work for some families, others may prefer lower deductibles if they expect themselves to be needing care soon. From an economical standpoint as well as a personal standpoint, this can make the conversation surrounding health care services a complicated one.

Many presidential candidates are discussing plans that involve providing Medicare or other health insurance options for all Americans. While these sorts of concepts can be promising for those who now pay a lot for their insurance or don’t even have insurance, some may want to know whether certain types of care are covered under Medicare. One such area that many older patients or individuals with terminal illnesses may wonder about is hospice care.

Hospice care is a specialized form of care that is intended for individuals who are likely to die soon. Rather than focus on trying to extend a patient’s life, hospice care instead focuses on ways to make the end of a patient’s life more comfortable. Quality is a major value of hospice care, and accepting that an individual deserves to have a dignified way to spend the last months of their life is also a core component. While transitioning into hospice care doesn’t always mean that a patient will pass away soon, it does mean that the patient, their family, and their caregivers all accept that death is the next natural step in their life.

Whether or not Medicare will cover hospice care costs depends, in part, on the type of Medicare hospice coverage that you have. For example, if you’re signed up for original Medicare, you will have no costs associated with your hospice stay. In some situations, you may have a slight co-pay for any prescriptions that you continue to take, and some patients also are charged a 5% fee to cover inpatient services. However, as long as you’re not getting hospice care in the nursing home where you already live or at your personal residence, original Medicare will even cover the fees associated with room and board. If you do have some of the aforementioned expenses as a result of your hospice stay, it may be worth looking into life settlement companies to help you get some money to cover these extra costs.

Medicare Part A insurance is a bit different from original Medicare insurance. Also known as Medicare Hospital Insurance, Medicare Part A sets out specific conditions that need to be met for you to qualify for financial assistance for your hospice care. To start, you must be diagnosed with a terminal illness and have a life expectancy of fewer than six months to qualify for hospice care under Medicare Part A. Next, you must agree that you would rather have comfort care than a treatment regimen that would actively seek to cure you of your illness. This type of care is sometimes known as palliative care. Finally, you must agree, in writing, to receive Medicare benefits for hospice care instead of any other forms of coverage you might want to claim in treating your illness.

Obviously, which plan you choose and what you decide to do depends on your own situation and is a personal decision to make. Websites such as Easy Medicare provide quotes for Medicare insurance to help you pick the right price and the right plan to meet your needs. It can be scary to think about your options as you near the end of your life, and a company such as Easy Medicare exists to help you make the best choice for you based on your situation and not the emotions surrounding your illness.

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