Patient and Caregiver Resources

Hospice and Palliative Coverage: Who Pays for Care?

When a serious or terminal illness is stressing your family, paying for care shouldn’t be one of your worries. As a nonprofit community-based healthcare provider, Delaware Hospice believes that cost should never come between your family and quality care.

Just like your care team, Delaware Hospice’s finance team is here for you. We’ll help you sort out your Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance coverage. And if for some reason you have out-of-pocket costs you can’t afford, we offer financial assistance.

“Too many people overlook hospice and palliative care because they’re afraid of the financial implications. But they shouldn’t be,” explains Michelle Burris, CFO of Delaware Hospice. “I encourage people to ask questions about their financial options, just like they would for their treatments. Our team gets on the phone with patients routinely to discuss their insurance coverage and financial assistance.”

To get you started, here’s the CliffsNotes on how hospice care and palliative care are paid for…

Medicare pays for 100% of hospice services—with no deductible.

If you’re on Medicare, you’re covered for both home-based and in-patient hospice care under Medicare Part A. You’ll just need to be sure that your hospice provider is approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

To qualify for hospice care under Medicare, a patient’s life expectancy must be six months or less. But not to worry, Medicare will continue paying for hospice even if you live longer. In fact, a number of patients continue living comfortably on hospice care beyond their six-month terminal prognosis, thanks to the effective symptom management hospice care provides.

Medicaid also covers hospice care, although eligibility criteria and benefits vary by state. In Delaware, Medicaid recipients must have a terminal diagnosis with a life expectancy of six months or less to be eligible for hospice benefits.

Private medical insurance may offer coverage for hospice care.

Benefits vary for patients covered by private medical insurance and managed care organizations. The best way to understand what your insurance includes is to call your health insurance provider to ask questions and to discuss your specific situation. At Delaware Hospice, we’ll work with you and your insurer to be certain you receive all the benefits you’re eligible for.

Financial assistance ensures that cost is never a barrier to care.

Delaware Hospice is committed to providing you and your family with top-quality care, regardless of your ability to pay. If you can’t afford your out-of-pocket costs, we’re here to help with financial assistance.

Palliative care is covered, too!

If your serious illness isn’t considered terminal or if you’re undergoing curative treatment, you might be considering the benefits of palliative care. Generally speaking, Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance treat palliative care like any other medical or physician service. (And if you want to get technical, palliative care comes under Medicare Part B.)

Palliative care coverage typically includes some form of deductible, co-pay, or co-insurance. But thanks to our many generous donors, Delaware Hospice is able to offer financial assistance to eligible palliative patients as well as our hospice patients. In addition, we’ll work with you to help you maximize your insurance coverage.

For more about our care programs or for information about paying for care, give us a call at 800.838.9800.

Find out how we can help you and your loved ones live comfortably:

The region’s leading licensed nonprofit community-based healthcare organization, serving the entire state of Delaware and Pennsylvania’s southern Chester and Delaware counties.

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