After your loved one has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and begins the end-of-life journey, it can be very difficult to initiate a talk about care options. Unfortunately, many people avoid the conversation about end-of-life care not only due to death being an uncomfortable topic, but also because of the fear of potentially high costs and the financial burden it may put on them and their family.
Through the multitude of federal, state, and private coverage options, hospice care is made affordable, often resulting in little to no cost for you, your loved one, or family. Understanding the options available through these programs can be critical in communicating that the care needed will be of no financial burden.
Your loved one can complete the end-of-life journey in comfort and dignity without the fear of hospice care being a financial strain.
The Medicare Hospice Benefit
Medicare is the federal health insurance program for United States citizens, or permanent residents, 65 years old and older.
Beginning in the 1980’s, the federal government instituted the Medicare hospice benefit program. The Medicare hospice benefit is designed to provide the terminally ill with a dignified, comfortable, and peaceful end-of-life without an overwhelming financial burden. The Medicare hospice benefit is by far the most popular form of payment for hospice services, accounting for payment coverage for more than 85% of hospice patients.
Room and board charges
If your loved one receives hospice care at the Inpatient Care Center, a nursing home, or other long-term care facility, the room and board charges will not be covered by the Medicare hospice benefit.
Medicaid Hospice Benefit
Medicaid is a joint operation between the federal government and state governments that is designed to provide free or low-cost health coverage to low income families, pregnant women, those with disabilities, and the elderly. Beginning in the 1980’s, and following the creation of the Medicare hospice benefit by Congress, states could choose to include hospice benefits for the terminally ill within their state Medicaid programs.
Medicaid coverage can be obtained and used alongside your loved one’s existing Medicare coverage. Learn more here.
Private insurance plans protect you from paying the full costs of medical services when you are sick or injured. It is usually provided by an employer, retirement program, or covered personally by the individual via one of the many health insurance providers across the country.
The majority of private insurance plans offer coverage for hospice and other end-of-life care services.
Patient Care Fund
At Blue Ridge Hospice we vow to never turn anyone away based on the inability to pay for end-of-life care. The Patient Care Fund was established to provide care for those uninsured or lacking the resources to cover the cost of hospice care. The patient must financially qualify for these funds provided by charitable donations, grants, or other community sources.