When a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness, it can be an emotional and stressful time.
Hospice care focuses on keeping patients comfortable and providing a better quality of life in their final days. It can also be a valuable resource for family members, helping with caregiving and providing bereavement support after a loved one passes away.
However, many families worry about whether they can afford it. The good news is there are many options for covering the cost of hospice care. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
Medicare Hospice Benefit
People with Medicare Part A can get hospice services under the following criteria:
- A doctor certifies that they have a life expectancy of 6 months or less
- They choose to accept hospice care instead of curative care for their illness
- They sign a statement confirming their choice of hospice care instead of other benefits intended to treat or cure the illness
The Medicare Hospice Benefit covers most hospice services free of charge.
Here are some additional things that may affect the cost of hospice for Medicare patients:
- Whether they have additional insurance
- Doctor fees
- The type of facility they stay in
- Where they receive a particular service
The Veterans Administration offers hospice care for qualified Veterans with a life expectancy of 6 months or less.
Clinical requirements are similar to those for receiving the Medicare Hospice Benefit. Focus is on relieving suffering and controlling symptoms instead of treating or curing the illness.
Care addresses physical, social, psychological and spiritual needs and is provided in accordance with the patient’s personal, cultural and religious preferences. Bereavement support is also available for families.
Persons eligible for full Medicaid benefits in Texas may also be eligible for the Texas Medicaid Hospice Program.
Patients who elect to receive hospice care also waive their access to benefits intended to cure their terminal illness. Services may take place at home, a hospital or Medicaid-contracted long term care facility.
Private Insurance & Additional Payment Options
Most private health insurance plans include a hospice benefit. Services covered by private insurance may vary, so patients and families will want to review their plan closely.
For those without insurance or who feel they can’t afford the cost of hospice care, alternative payment methods are available. Crown Hospice encourages families to ask about affordable self-pay options and coverage provisions to ensure that patients receive the care they need and deserve.
You can call us at 361-575-5900 or reach out to us online.