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Are Home Health And Hospice Services Covered By Medicare?

By Cori Green

When considering home health or hospice care, many patients and their families will want to find out whether or not they are eligible for Medicare. Medicare is a Federal Health Insurance Program for people who are age 65 or older, people under 65 with certain disabilities or people of any age who have end-stage renal disease. Medicare has two parts: Medicare Part A – Hospital Insurance and Medicare Part B – Medical Insurance.

What Makes a Person Medicare Eligible?
A person is eligible for Medicare if they or their spouse have worked for at least 10 years in Medicare-covered employment and the person is 65 years or older and a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. If the person applying for home health or hospice services isn’t yet 65, they may qualify for Medicare coverage if they have a disability or permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant.

Are Hospice Care Services Covered by Medicare?
Hospice care services are covered under Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance). Medicare says that a person is eligible for hospice benefits when:

- A patient is eligible for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance); and

- The person’s doctor and the hospice medical director certify that the person is terminally ill and probably have less than six months to live; and

- A patient signs a statement choosing hospice care instead of routine Medicare covered benefits for a patient’s terminal illness*; and (* Medicare will still pay for covered benefits for any health problems that are not related to a patient’s terminal illness )

- A patient receives care from a Medicare-approved hospice program.

Please keep in mind that Medicare will still pay for covered benefits for any health problems that are not related to a patient’s terminal illness. A patient’s doctor and chosen hospice care provider will coordinate with the patient and family to set up a plan of care that satisfies any special conditions or needs.

Here is a list of the hospice services that are covered by Medicare:

- Doctor’s services

- Nursing care

- Medical equipment (such as wheelchairs or walkers)

- Medical supplies like bandages and catheters

- Drugs for symptom control and pain relief

- Short-term care in the hospital and/or including respite care

- Homemaker services and home health aide services

- Physical therapist and/or occupational therapist

- Speech therapist services

- A social worker

- Dietary counseling and nutrition planning

- Counseling to help a patient and a patient family with grief and loss

Medicare covers these hospice services and pays nearly all of their costs. A patient will only have to pay part of the cost for outpatient drugs and inpatient respite care.

What Home Health Services Covered by Medicare?
Medicare Part A(Hospital Insurance) will cover certain home health services. The following home health services are covered by Medicare:

- Intermittent or PT skilled nursing care by a licensed practical nurse or RN

- Personal care therapy

- Working with an occupational therapist

- Medical supplies that are directly related to your home health care plan, including wound dressings

- Resilient medical equipment

If there is a home health service that Medicare does not cover, instruct your home health care provider inform you as soon as possible so that you can properly plan for your home health expenses. This will help minimize any out of pocket expenditures you have before they are incurred.

Where Can I Find A Medicare Approved Hospice or Home Health Care Provider?
You can find a home health or hospice care provider that is Medicare approved by asking your doctor, your State Hospice Organization, or a patient State Health Department. Utah residents can contact Millcreek Home Health and Hospice for answers to their questions about Medicare covered hospice and home health care.

Understanding what hospice and home health services are covered by Medicare can help you find a suitable home health and hospice care provider so you or your loved one get the care that you need.

If you live in Utah and want more information about home health care or hospice services, then visit our web site today.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Green, Cori "Are Home Health And Hospice Services Covered By Medicare?." Are Home Health And Hospice Services Covered By Medicare?. 2 Jul. 2010. 3 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Green, C (2010, July 2). Are Home Health And Hospice Services Covered By Medicare?. Retrieved August 3, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Green, Cori "Are Home Health And Hospice Services Covered By Medicare?"

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