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Considering the Hospice Option

How Much Does Hospice Cost?

In the United States, a person is eligible for hospice care when a doctor has written a statement that says you have a life expectancy of six months or less. This applies to anyone of any age, with any type of illness. However, if you live longer than six months, you can still receive hospice care -- it is not just limited to six months. If your condition improves, hospice care will be discontinued and you will resume your medical treatment for your disease.
Hospice will also be offered when treatments to cure your disease are no longer effective, and you and your medical team have decided that it's time to create a treatment plan that focuses on providing comfort and quality of life for your remaining days.
In general, hospice care costs less than inpatient care in a hospital or nursing home. With hospice, you pay only for the specific care you need. Also, there are lots of volunteers that can provide services, such as meal preparation, visits, and errands, for little to no cost.
If you have Medicare, it will cover the costs if you are accepted into a Medicare-approved hospice program. Medicare is a type of health insurance provided by the federal government for those 65 years old and older, as well as for some disabled Americans. Medicare usually requires that your hospice care be provided at home, with only short stays in an inpatient facility.
Medicaid is a type of health insurance that is administered by each state and covers low-income people, the elderly, people with disabilities, and certain people who have dependent children. In most states, Medicaid covers hospice care. Also, most private insurance plans will cover hospice care, although the specific benefits may differ depending on which insurance carrier you have.
Although you may have to pay out of pocket for any hospice services not covered by insurance, these services are usually provided without charge if you have limited or nonexistent financial resources. In many cases, hospice services will help provide funds raised from community donations and charities if you do not have any financial help.
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