If your loved one is nearing the end of his or her life, hospice may be an option to help to preserve his or her quality of life. The compassionate professionals at Elder Care Direction can offer you and your loved one some guidance about what to expect. Terminally ill people who are expected to less six months or less may be eligible for hospice care. The care may be paid for by your loved one’s Medicare.
Requirements for hospice to be covered by Medicare
Medicare may pay for your loved one’s hospice care if the following apply:
- Your loved one is eligible for Medicare Part A;
- Your loved one’s doctor must certify that your loved one has six or fewer months to live;
- Your loved one must choose hospice instead of other treatments; and
- The hospice provider must be approved by Medicare.
Hospice services that Medicare covers
Hospice services that are covered by Medicare include the following:
- Nursing care and doctor services
- Durable medical equipment and medical supplies
- Drugs for pain relief and symptom management
- Dietary or nutritional counseling
- Hospice aide services
- Occupational and physical therapy
- Social work
- Loss and grief counseling
- Short-term inpatient or respite care
If you are your loved one’s normal caregiver and need a break, inpatient respite care can provide you with the time that you need. There might be a copay required for the time that your loved one is in the inpatient facility, however.
What Medicare will not pay for
Medicare will not pay for hospice if your loved one is receiving treatment to cure his or her terminal illness. Prescription drugs that are meant to cure the illness will not be covered if your loved one is in hospice. Medicare will not pay for hospice from a provider that wasn’t prearranged by the hospice medical team. Medicare also will not pay for room and board unless the medical team determines that they need a stay in an assisted living facility.
Your responsibilities for hospice care
There are some costs that your loved one might have to pay out of pocket, including prescription copays at up to $5 per prescription. He or she may also have to pay 5 percent of the cost of inpatient respite care that is approved by Medicare.
Length of hospice care
The Medicare hospice benefit includes two periods of 90 days each. If those are exhausted, there will be 60-day periods that follow. People who are terminally ill may continue to receive hospice care as long as their doctors and medical teams continue to certify that they have six months or less to live. The care will not end simply because your loved one manages to live longer than expected. However, if your loved one reaches the third benefit period, he or she will have an in-person meeting with a hospice nurse practitioner or hospice doctor. In-person meetings will continue prior to the start of each successive 60-day benefits period.
Hospice care may offer a crucial benefit to your loved one. If your loved one has a terminal illness and is considering hospice care, you might want to talk to the professionals at Elder Care Direction. Call us today to schedule your consultation.