Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Paying for Hospice
99% of hospice patients have no out-of-pocket expenses. Medicare covers the cost as part of the Medicare Hospice Benefit. Get answers to common questions about paying for hospice below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who pays for hospice? Is it covered by my insurance? Medicare? Medicaid?
Medicare covers 100% of hospice services.
Generally, most hospices also work with Medicaid, the Veterans Administration and private insurance companies.
Who pays for hospice room and board?
There is no room-and-board fee for hospice services.
Hospice is brought to the patient in the place they call home—an apartment, nursing home, assisted living community or other residential care facility. Even when a patient is placed in an inpatient hospice facility, there is no room and board fee. And while 98 percent of hospice care happens at home*, when hospice patients require round-the-clock inpatient care, that level of care is also provided at no charge to the patient or family. Patients with a terminal illness usually pay nothing for hospice services. Medicare, Medicaid and Veterans Health Administration beneficiaries are fully covered. Most private insurances also cover hospice services. Patients with no insurance can be covered by the charitable arm of their hospice provider. Talk to a local hospice provider for more information.
*NHPCO Facts and Figures: Hospice Care in America. Alexandria, VA: National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, Rev. ed. April 2018, pg 6, “Level of Care.”
If I don’t have insurance, can I still receive hospice services?
If you don’t have insurance coverage, the hospice admissions staff will work with you to determine financial responsibility and self-payments and to find out if you are eligible for other benefits that could help pay for services.
If Medicare covers my hospice services, will I lose my other Medicare coverage?
If you need hospitalization for any reason unrelated to the terminal disease, traditional Medicare will be used. You can discontinue the Medicare hospice benefit at any time if you want treatment different from what hospice provides. You may also resume the Medicare hospice benefit at any time.
Can I have hospice and also keep my HMO?
Hospice will provide care related to the primary diagnosis, while the HMO can take care of unrelated healthcare issues.
Is there a fee for a hospice consultation?
Hospices do not charge fees for eligibility consultations.