One of the first questions we are asked is “Who is eligible for hospice care?”
Eligibility for hospice care requires a life-limiting condition for which a patient will no longer receive treatments that are designed to cure. Although many people are referred for hospice care by physicians and other health care providers, friends or family members may also contact us when they anticipate their loved one will need our assistance. You may even seek hospice services for yourself.
Hospice care is covered by many private insurance policies, as well as Medicare and Medicaid. You may have heard that the time for which someone can receive hospice care is very short; however, it is actually longer than most people believe. Under Medicare and Medicaid, for example, the first two periods of care last for 90 days each, followed by an unlimited number of 60-day periods. As such, patient may receive the benefits associated with hospice care—such as reduced stress and greater physical comfort—for 6 months or more. This gives them a greater opportunity to enjoy the last months of life, while easing the burden on those they care about.
Take our survey to ascertain if you, a friend or family member is likely eligible for hospice care.