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How Is Hospice Care Paid For?

Patients with terminal illnesses do not usually have to pay for hospice care.

Hospice care costs are covered by Medicare (through the Medicare Hospice Benefit), Medicaid (in most states), and The Veteran’s Health Administration. We currently accept Medicare, Texas Medicaid, and private pay.

Medicare and Medicaid

  • Currently, most hospice patients have their costs covered by Medicare, through the Medicare Hospice Benefit.
  • Medicaid provides additional benefits for low-income patients or patients without Medicare. Some patients may receive benefits from both agencies through their hospice agency.
  • Medicaid provides benefits that are very similar to Medicare Hospice Benefits.

Whether a patient is eligible for hospice benefits may vary depending on who is covering the cost of care. Currently, most hospice care in the US is covered by the Medicare Part A Hospice Benefit, which requires:

  • Patients to be diagnosed with a terminal illness, and
  • Be 65 years or older, and
  • Have the patient’s doctor and a hospice medical director certify that the patient has six months or less to live.
  • Many other hospice benefits programs follow these same guidelines set by Medicare.

Health Insurance

Many private insurance companies provide some coverage for hospice care. Check with your insurer to determine whether hospice care is covered and under what circumstances. Among private insurers, there are variations in qualifications and covered benefits.

Individuals Who Do Not Have Insurance

If you do not have insurance coverage and cannot otherwise afford the service, a hospice may provide care free of charge or on a sliding scale basis.

This financial assistance is provided through donations, gifts, grants or other community sources. Call your local hospices to learn if they are able and willing to offer care for free or reduced cost in your case. View our contact information for hospices in your area.

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