While each hospice has its own policies concerning payment for care, it is a tradition of hospice care to offer services based upon need, rather than the ability to pay. Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurance covers hospice care for patients who meet eligibility criteria in Missouri. With any healthcare program, there may be “co-pays” and deductibles that families pay to receive care. In addition, many hospices rely on community support for donations. In most instances there is no cost to patients for hospice services.
Medicare Hospice Benefit (Part A) covers hospice care. You may choose this comprehensive benefit if:
- You are eligible for Medicare Part A.
- Your physician and the hospice medical director certify that you have a terminal illness with a life expectancy of six months or less.
- You enroll in hospice instead of the standard Medicare benefits for care of the terminal illness.
- You receive care from a Medicare-certified hospice program.
Medicare pays only for services that are authorized by the hospice program. You may discontinue the hospice benefit at any time and resume your standard Medicare benefit.
While enrolled in hospice, standard Medicare benefits are still available for treatment of health problems unrelated to the terminal illness, and all Part B benefits for physician services are also available.
If the hospice you choose is not Medicare certified, it will provide some services and will work with other agencies to provide services that will be paid for by Medicare.
If you are eligible for Missouri Medicaid, you also have a hospice benefit, which includes the same services as the Medicare Hospice Benefit.
Missouri Hospice Medicaid Project: research study in 2013 exploring potential cost savings of hospice services associated with end-of-life services through the Missouri Medicaid program.
If you have health care coverage through a commercial insurance company, contact your insurance company for your specific coverage information.