A terminal illness can invoke many difficult decisions in a person’s mind, like considering whether utilizing hospice care is beneficial. Hospice care may sound troubling, but it’s essential to consider the life options. NewMedicare will tell you about hospice care in this brief precis. Your Medicare can cover the cost of your Hospice care. Moreover, Medicare helps people with terminal illnesses comfortably spend their last moments with their relatives. Let’s dive into medicare hospice care benefits. 

How Hospice Care in Medicare Works?

Medicare Part A includes hospice. Even if you have Medicare Advantage Plan or Original Medicare, the hospice benefit provided by Original Medicare will normally cover your care (there are some exceptions under a pilot program described below).

A Medicare Advantage enrollee who subsequently requires hospice care is not required to leave the Advantage plan, provided that they continue to pay the monthly fee. The Medicare Advantage plan will continue to cover the healthcare needs that aren’t related to your hospice needs or terminal condition (or you can get unrelated care via Original Medicare, with the regular deductibles and coinsurance).

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that beginning in 2021, Medicare Advantage plans would be required to provide hospice coverage. For participating insurers, the program allows Medicare Advantage patients to access hospice care with the same care coordination as other treatments. 

Medicare Advantage Hospice Benefit

The Medicare Advantage hospice benefit pilot program is part of the VBID concept, which will benefit 3.7 million Medicare beneficiaries by 2022.

In the U.S., 42% of Medicare beneficiaries have Medicare Advantage plans. 6 Most Medicare Advantage subscribers follow the standard routine of receiving hospice benefits through Original Medicare, not the VBID pilot program.

If you have Medicare and need hospice care, Part A usually covers it. Medicare pays the hospice a daily fee for each patient. Per-diem is a dollar-per-day charge. 2

The hospice’s per-diem rate covers all hospice services. It gets this money every day, whether a nurse or aide visited you or not.

You can only get hospice care through the hospice organization or a provider it contracts with. Home oxygen and a hospital bed aren’t available from any medical equipment provider. You must receive them from the medical equipment company your hospice contracts with, and your hospice must approve.

Non-hospice providers can provide non-terminal healthcare services. If you have cancer as a terminal illness, you may continue to see your cardiologist for heart arrhythmia treatment. Since the cardiology appointment wasn’t related to your terminal disease, hospice won’t pay for it. Original Medicare Part B will cover the cardiologist appointment as it has in the past (or, if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, it will cover the visit under the plan’s standard conditions).

If your terminal illness is pulmonary hypertension and you must be hospitalized because you broke your hip, Original Medicare Part A would pay for your hospitalization. Original Medicare Part B would pay your doctor bills—or your Medicare Advantage plan would cover your hip treatment if you have an Advantage plan and choose to keep it after electing Medicare’s hospice benefit.

Medicare will cover palliative care for your terminal illness (with the Medicare hospice benefit) and unrelated healthcare costs (with Medicare Parts A and B or your Medicare Advantage plan), subject to regular cost-sharing restrictions.

Medicare Hospice Care Benefits

Hospice care doesn’t cure an illness but focuses on comfort and relief from the illness’s pain. Moreover, your hospice benefit will cover your needs once you choose it. Several benefits that Medicare’s Hospice provides are as follows:

  • It provides care in the home of the sick. A team of specially skilled professionals provides care for the sick, including meeting social, emotional, and physical needs.
  • It also provides all the illness’s drugs, equipment, supplies, and physical care.
  • Moreover, Hospice care also provides support for family caregivers. 

Also, November is National Palliative and Hospice care month. Therefore, it is a good opportunity to learn more about the care options for people who suffer from a terminal illness. Moreover, Care Compare is a resource that can help you find hospices that provide care in your area, and you can also compare different hospices’ services on the metric of their quality of care. 

Reach out Today at NewMedicare.