Paying for Hospice Care

Most hospice patients are eligible for Medicare, which covers all aspects of hospice care and services. There is no deductible for hospice services although there may be a nominal co-payment for prescriptions and respite care. In most states, Medicaid offers similar coverage.

Original Medicare
The Original Medicare hospice benefit covers the costs associated with hospice care for the primary hospice diagnosis. If you are receiving ongoing treatment or medications for other health problems unrelated to the primary hospice diagnosis, these costs may not be covered by the hospice provider and you may need to pay out of pocket or use your supplemental policies to cover these expenses.
Medicare Advantage
Original Medicare covers hospice care even if you are in a Medicare Advantage Plan. If you have supplemental insurance, such as a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Part B that you are paying additional premiums for, you should confirm the coverage with the hospice organization before cancelling Medicare Advantage or any supplemental insurance policies.
If you continue your Medicare Advantage plan, it may cover the cost of some caregiving services in addition to those provided by Medicare-only coverage. Please check with the Advantage Plan policy holder directly to determine whether additional services are covered.
For more information about hospice care and Medicare Advantage, visit https://www.medicare.gov/what-medicare-covers/what-part-a-covers/how-hospice-works

Employer Health Insurance Plans

Many health insurance plans you obtain through an employer or state marketplace offer a hospice benefit, but the extent to which they cover hospice care may differ from one another, as well as from Medicare. It is important to check your policy.

Military Coverage

Military families have hospice coverage through Tricare. Veterans who are enrolled in the VA healthcare system and elect hospice care are covered through the VA system, which has community partners that provide care, as well as inpatient care that is provided at some VA facilities.

Hospice providers will accept private payment, referred to as “self-pay,” which may be an option for the uninsured.
Charity care

Sometimes a person who needs hospice has no way to pay for it. Fortunately, many hospice providers have a process through which they can provide services to people who are medically eligible but have neither insurance nor the resources to pay for their care.

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