Who pays for hospice care?
Many insurance policies provide basic hospice benefits such as nursing, social worker and hospice aide care. Rice Hospice care is provided regardless of ability to pay. As well as making care possible for patients without insurance, philanthropic gifts cover expenses for complementary therapies and special programs such as Sentimental Journey, grief support, and Canine Care for the Journey.
Hospice Benefits under Medicare
Hospice care is covered by the Medicare Hospice Benefit. This benefit may be elected if:
- The patient is enrolled in Medicare Part A
- The patient’s physician and the hospice associate medical director certify that the patient has a terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months or less if the illness runs its normal course
- The patient chooses hospice instead of the standard Medicare Part A benefits for the terminal illness
- The patient receives care from a Medicare-certified hospice program
Medicare pays only for services that are authorized by the hospice team. You may discontinue the hospice benefit at any time and resume your standard Medicare benefit. While enrolled in hospice, standard Medicare benefits are still available for the treatment of health problems unrelated to the terminal illness, and all Part B benefits for physician services are also available.
- Hospice is available as a benefit under Medical Assistance.
Commercial Health Insurance
- If the patient has health care coverage through a private insurance company, frequently there is a hospice benefit available. Rice Hospice will help the patient and family research and coordinate their benefits.
- When there is no third-party payer, such as Medicare, Medical Assistance, or commercial health insurance plan, individuals may pay privately for services. Rice Hospice will help the patient and family determine available resources to supplement cost of hospice care.