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Hospice Care

Medical, emotional and spiritual support
for people who are nearing life’s end


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Paying for Hospice

Tanner Hospice Care is a covered benefit under most private insurance plans, and is a covered Medicare and Medicaid benefit in Georgia. Private donations and community support also allow hospice to offer services based upon need rather than the ability to pay.

What is covered under Medicare hospice care?

Medicare hospice care is a comprehensive program designed to provide comfort and support to individuals facing a terminal illness or life-limiting condition. Under this benefit, Medicare covers a wide range of services aimed at enhancing the quality of life for patients while they receive end-of-life care. These services typically include medical care, pain and symptom management, nursing care, counseling and emotional support for both the patient and their family. 

Additionally, Medicare hospice care may cover prescription drugs, medical equipment and supplies related to the terminal illness. The primary focus is on alleviating suffering, promoting dignity and ensuring that individuals can spend their remaining days in the comfort of their chosen environment, which may be their home or a hospice facility.

How long will Medicare cover hospice care?

Medicare covers hospice care for as long as a patient's physician certifies that they have a terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months or less if the disease runs its normal course. Initially, Medicare provides hospice care in two 90-day periods, followed by an unlimited number of 60-day periods, as long as the patient continues to meet the criteria for hospice care.

It's essential for the patient's physician and the hospice team to regularly assess the patient's condition to ensure they remain eligible for Medicare hospice coverage. This flexibility allows individuals to receive compassionate end-of-life care and support for as long as their medical circumstances warrant it.

How do I pay for hospice care without Medicare?

Paying for hospice care without Medicare can be challenging, as hospice services can be costly. Here are some common methods for covering hospice care expenses:

  • Private Health Insurance: Some private health insurance plans may cover hospice care. Check with your insurance provider to understand your policy's coverage and any limitations.
  • Medicaid: If you qualify for Medicaid, it may cover hospice care services. Medicaid eligibility and coverage can vary by state, so it's essential to check with your state's Medicaid office for specific information.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: If you have long-term care insurance, it may cover hospice care expenses. Review your policy to understand the terms and conditions related to hospice coverage.
  • Out-of-Pocket Payments: If you don't have insurance coverage, you may need to pay for hospice care out of pocket. Many hospice providers offer sliding fee scales or financial assistance programs to help make care more affordable.
  • Veterans Benefits: Veterans may be eligible for hospice care benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Contact the VA to inquire about available hospice services for veterans.
  • Charitable Organizations: Some charitable organizations and nonprofits provide financial assistance or grants to individuals in need of hospice care but facing financial difficulties. Research local and national organizations that offer such support.
  • Medicare Advantage Plans: While traditional Medicare offers hospice coverage, some Medicare Advantage plans may also provide hospice benefits. Check with your plan to determine if this coverage is available.

It's crucial to consult with a hospice provider or a financial counselor to explore your options and develop a plan for covering hospice care costs if you don't have Medicare coverage. They can help you navigate the financial aspects of hospice care and identify potential sources of assistance.


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