Insurance and Billing Information
Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans cover hospice care. Thanks to donations to Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Rhode Island, formerly known as Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island, no one is ever turned away if they don’t have insurance.
Medicare Hospice Benefit
The Medicare Hospice Benefit, initiated in 1983, is covered under Medicare Part A (hospital insurance). Medicare beneficiaries who choose hospice care receive a full scope of medical and support services for their life-limiting illness. Hospice care also supports the family and loved ones through a variety of services.
More than 90 percent of hospices in the United States are certified by Medicare. Eighty percent of people who use hospice care are over the age of 65, and are thus entitled to the services offered by the Medicare Hospice Benefit. This benefit covers virtually all aspects of hospice care with little out-of-pocket expense to the person or family. In addition, most private health plans and Medicaid in 47 states and the District of Columbia cover hospice services.
Sometimes a person's health improves or their illness goes into remission. If that happens, your doctor may feel that you no longer need hospice care. Also, you always have the right to stop getting hospice care, for any reason. If you stop your hospice care, you will receive the type of Medicare coverage that you had before electing hospice. If you are eligible, you can go back to hospice care at any time.
What services are covered?
- Physician services for the medical direction of the patient's care
- Regular visits by nurses
- Medical supplies, such as catheters and bandages
- Medical equipment, such as hospital beds and wheelchairs
- Delivery of medications, medical supplies and equipment
- Medications for pain relief and symptom management
- Home health-aide services for personal care, such as dressing and bathing
- Social work services, such as help resolving problems
- Spiritual care
- Grief counseling
- Volunteer support to provide companionship to the patient and help for family members
- Short-term inpatient and respite care
- Physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech/language services