Hospice as a Benefit
In addition to the myriad of issues that arise when faced with a terminal illness, it’s important to understand what the actual Medicare hospice benefit includes and what services are available to you and your family.
Medicare first created this benefit over 40 years ago. Medicaid and most private insurance companies have adopted it without modification.
Medicare covers everything related to the terminal illness. This may include:
- Doctor services
- Nursing care
- Medical equipment & medical supplies
- Prescription drugs
- Home health aide services
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Speech-language pathology services
- Social worker services
- Dietary counseling
- Grief and bereavement counseling
- Short-term inpatient care
- Short-term respite care
- Any other Medicare-covered services needed to manage your terminal illness and related conditions, as recommended by your hospice team
While Medicare traditionally covers 80% of medical costs, hospice services are covered at 100%. Also, it is important to note that the hospice benefit does not cover ‘a place to go,’ but rather the team of people that comes to wherever a patient may reside.
For those that need a place to go for whatever reason, the Center for Hope owns and operates two unique, state-of-the-art residential hospice care facilities, located in Scotch Plains and Elizabeth, NJ. For those who cannot afford residential services, the Center’s Charitable Care Program, responsible for $3.8 million dollars in free or reduced-cost care, ensures that no one will ever be denied services based on financial hardships.
For more information on the Medicare hospice benefit, visit https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/02154-medicare-hospice-benefits.pdf or call the Center at 908.889.7780.