Paying for Hospice Care

paying for hospice Medicare benefit

The Medicare Hospice Benefit

The Medicare Hospice Benefit

Hospice is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance companies. Hospice is a financial relief for many patients and their families because services related to a life-limiting illness, such as medical equipment, medicines and supplies, are covered by hospice care benefits – with few out-of-pocket expenses.

Medicare typically pays 100 percent of hospice expenses if these requirements are met.

  • The person seeking hospice is eligible for Medicare Part A.
  • Your doctor and a medical director from a hospice program certify the patient has six months or less to live, if the illness runs its normal course.
  • The patient signs a statement choosing hospice instead of curative treatments for their terminal illness. You can stop hospice and return to curative treatment at any time.
  • You or your loved receive care from Medicare-approved hospice program.

Compassus is fully Medicare approved in every state we serve. Visit the hospice information page on

You or your family will never receive a bill for hospice-specific services from Compassus.

Hospice services covered by the Medicare benefit

  • Doctor and nursing care
  • Medical equipment and supplies
  • Medications for symptom control and pain relief
  • Medical social services
  • Spiritual care
  • Dietary counseling
  • Support from volunteers
  • Grief counseling for patient and family
  • Hospice aide and homemaker services
  • Physical, occupational and speech therapies, as appropriate for the plan of care
  • Music, pet or massage therapies as appropriate. Call our local locations to see if services are available.
  • Short-term inpatient and respite care

What about Medicare coverage for other services?

While in hospice care, you can still get Medicare coverage for treatment of illnesses and injuries unrelated to hospice. For example, Medicare would continue to cover care or medications required because of a fall or other injury. However, the costs you usually pay for services will apply. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, that plan will be responsible for other costs.

How long can someone receive hospice care using Medicare?

The hospice benefit includes two 90-day benefit periods followed by an unlimited number of 60-day benefit periods. Hospice patients receive care as long as the doctor and the hospice medical director certify that the patient is terminally ill.

If the patient lives longer than six months, hospice care is still available, as long as the hospice medical director or another hospice doctor re-certifies the terminal illness.