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Medicare Hospice Benefit

Table of Contents


Overview

The Medicare hospice benefit covers care related to a terminal illness.

Medicare is a health insurance program for people 65 years of age and older. It's also for some people younger than 65 who have disabilities. And it's for people with long-term (chronic) kidney failure treated with dialysis or a transplant. It's administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The Medicare hospice benefit is described in Part A. Part A benefits cover hospitals and nursing facilities (but not custodial or long-term care). They also cover some home health care, as well as hospice. People (including a spouse) who paid Medicare taxes while they were working are eligible for Part A benefits. You don't have to pay a monthly payment, or premium, for Part A benefits.

Eligibility

You must meet all of the criteria below to be eligible for the Medicare hospice benefit:

For more information, visit the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website at www.cms.gov or call them at 1-800-633-4227.

Covered services

Medicare pays the hospice program a daily (per diem) rate. The rate is intended to fully cover most services related to a terminal illness. These may include:

If your condition changes so that hospice is no longer right for you, you can get your former Medicare benefits reinstated. You can also re-apply for hospice benefits at a later time if you need them.


Credits for Medicare Hospice Benefit

Current as of: March 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Shelly R. Garone MD, FACP - Palliative Medicine


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