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Medicare Hospice Benefit

Table of Contents


Topic Overview

Medicare is a health insurance program for people 65 years of age and older, for some people younger than 65 who have disabilities, and for people with long-term (chronic) kidney failure treated with dialysis or a transplant. Medicare is administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of the United States government.

The Medicare hospice benefit is described in Part A, which talks about hospital insurance. Part A benefits provide coverage for hospitals, nursing facilities (but not custodial or long-term care), some home health care, and hospice. People (including a spouse) who paid Medicare taxes while they were working are eligible for Part A benefits. A monthly payment, or premium, is not required for Part A benefits.

Eligibility

The Medicare hospice benefit provides coverage for services related to a life-limiting illness. Hospice care is covered under Medicare Part A benefits. You must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for the Medicare hospice benefit:

Covered services

Medicare pays the hospice program a daily (per diem) rate that is intended to fully cover most services related to a life-limiting illness, including:

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

For more information

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of the United States government manages the Medicare hospice benefit. You may call toll-free (1-800-633-4227) or visit its Web site at www.cms.gov for more information.


Credits for Medicare Hospice Benefit

Current as of: February 18, 2021

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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