Hospice and Medicare

You or your family members have the right to select any hospice of your choice.

Medicare Hospice Benefit Facts

You can get Medicare hospice benefits when you meet all of these conditions:

  • You are eligible for Medicare Part A;
  • Your physician and the Hospice Medical Director certify that you have a terminal prognosis of less than six months if the disease runs its normal course;
  • You sign a Medicare Election Form stating that you are choosing hospice care (symptom control and pain management) rather than seeking curative measures;
  • You choose a hospice that is Medicare-certified.
Services include:
  • Physicians
  • Nursing
  • Social workers
  • Chaplain
  • Hospice aides/homemaker
  • Volunteers
  • Physical, occupational, and speech therapy (as needed)
  • Medications related to the terminal prognosis
  • Medical equipment necessary for patient comfort and safety

In addition, a hospice nurse and physician are on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to give you and your family support and care when you need it.

There are four levels of care provided under the Medicare Hospice Benefit:

  • Routine home care (in the patient’s home)
  • Short-term inpatient care for pain and/or symptom management that cannot be controlled in the home
  • Short-term respite care in a nursing facility (for caregiver relief), and
  • Continuous home care (for crisis management).

While most insurance plans cover hospice, we do not refuse patients because of their inability to pay.

Health Insurance

  • Medicare Part A: If you or a family member are or become eligible for the Medicare Benefit you are qualified for the hospice benefit under Medicare Part A. It is an enhanced program with many benefits and is part of everyone’s Medicare. Hospice is a direct Medicare benefit and does not go through Secure Horizons, First Choice, Good Health Plan, etc.
  • Hospice care if you are in a Medicare Advantage Plan: All Medicare-covered services you get while in hospice care are covered under Original Medicare,  even if you are in a Medicare Advantage Plan (like an HMO or PPO) or other Medicare Health Plan offered by a private company (Medigap).  However, if your plan covers extra services not covered by Original Medicare (like dental and vision benefits), your plan will continue to cover these extra services.
  • Medicaid: If you are on Medicaid, you are allowed to choose which Medicaid Hospice Program you favor and request that your physician refer your care to the program you have selected.