If your loved one is in a nursing home and you are concerned about who will pay for hospice care, consider the options available to you. Many hospice services are free, but you will have to contact a hospice agency before receiving care. You can also receive hospice care through Medicaid. Medicaid began to provide hospice services in 1992, and the benefits are virtually the same as Medicare. It is important to inform the hospice team of your Medicaid eligibility before your loved one enters the facility. In addition, it is not possible to receive two types of benefits at the same time, so it is crucial that you notify the hospice before you are admitted.
Unlike Medicare, hospice care is not limited to those with terminal illnesses. It is possible to receive hospice care for up to six months if you have Medicare, but this option requires that you have a six-month life expectancy. If you have Medicare and need hospice care, you can consult with your regular physician about your eligibility. You can also have an independent medical professional oversee your care.
Hospice care is managed by an interdisciplinary health care team that includes a hospice physician and medical director. The patient’s primary care doctor or cancer specialist can also be involved in the care, as appropriate. The team may also include a bereavement counselor to help patients and their families cope with their loss. The hospice team meets regularly to monitor the patient’s health and care needs.