Who pays for hospice care?

Hospice care is available to all persons, regardless of the ability to pay. Hospice care is fully reimbursed by Medicare and Medicaid and many other types of health plans, including health maintenance organizations (HMOs), preferred provider organizations (PPOs), and other private insurance. If you have insurance other than Medicare (Part A) or Medicaid, your hospice program will help you determine the coverage by contacting your insurance company for you. Since it is the hospice philosophy to provide access to all who choose this type of care, regardless of ability to pay, most hospice programs also provide care for those who have no source of hospice benefit coverage. Most hospice programs conduct fund-raising events in their communities to help support this philosophy of care to all persons.

Medicare gives hospices the option of charging their patients five percent of the cost of any medications, up to a $5.00 maximum. Hospice may also charge a five- percent co-insurance on the cost of inpatient respite care.

To ease both the patient’s and family’s concerns, the hospice admissions staff and social workers try to ensure that payment issues are handled in an uncomplicated manner. The hospice philosophy is that payment for services should not be a concern.

Download the Centers for Medicare Services Handbook