Last Updated on June 5, 2021 by Frank Davis
The question “Is hospice care free?” is frequently asked by patients. In response to that question, the answer is no. The only reason this is not free is the fact that payment is required. There are usually two sources of funding available for hospice care, government or private insurance companies. Among these sources are:
- Veterans Affairs VA
- Private Insurances
- Private pay/Self-pay
- Charitable Organizations
As you may know, hospice is not free. The only reason why this is the case is because of the fact that you have to get funding from one of the sources mentioned above. In addition, in order to get Medicare Part A, for instance, you would have had to pay taxes for a period of time in order to qualify for it. In other words, it is not just handed over to you by your government for free. If it were given for free, then everybody would be able to qualify for it, however, this is not the case.
How do you qualify for Hospice Care
- Have Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)
- Your primary doctor and hospice doctor must certify that your terminally ill, with a prognosis of 6 months or less
- You must forgo curative treatment
What Services Does Hospice Care Provide
Hospice care is available at no cost to you, and is covered completely by your insurance policy. It is not just about easing the pain, but also about helping to relieve the burden of financial needs associated with hospice care. As a beneficiary of hospice, you will not have to worry about paying out of pocket when you receive hospice care, as it is covered 100%.
Hospice cares primary goal is to tend to the patients physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. This is done through an interdisciplinary team which includes doctors, nurses, counselors, therapists, home health aides, and volunteers. Generally the doctor oversees the patients medications and services. Nurses and rest of the staff visit periodically or on an as needed basis.
- Nursing services: The average number of visits by a hospice nurse to hospice patients is two to three a week. Also available to hospice patients and their caregivers is the services of a nurse on call 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Physician participation: The hospice medical director will generally be working with the patient’s regular physician to provide care and support
- Medical social services: There are a variety of services offered by social workers in order to assist patients in dealing with their emotional and social needs
- Counseling services: In addition to nutritional support, pastoral and/or spiritual counseling may be helpful for patients, as well as counseling for caregivers and family members
- Home-health aide: An individual performing this type of care service assists the patients with their personal care needs and visits them on a frequent basis
- Medication: The majority of hospice-related medications, as well as those intended to relieve pain or discomfort, are typically covered.
- Medical equipment: By providing the necessary equipment, hospice programs can ensure a safe, comfortable, and caring environment for patients. The supplies may include, for example, a hospital bed, a wheelchair, oxygen, adult diapers, bandages, and latex gloves.
- Respite care: Using this type of care can relieve caregiver burnout and stress as it is a temporary, short-term arrangement
- Therapists: If it is considered necessary for your relative, hospice may provide a physical, occupational, or speech-language therapist
If you have any type of insurance, whether Medicare, Medical, or a private policy, hospice will be covered 100%. However, even though you will not be paying anything out of pocket, we cannot state that hospice care is free. In this case, the reason for this is that insurance companies are required to pay for the costs. It is a pretty simple concept to understand.
Depending on your needs, Hospice Valley can help. For further inquiries, please feel free to contact us at (818)433-0068. Our team will work with you and your insurance company to ensure that you will receive hospice care at no cost to you.