Understanding what is covered by Medicare can be difficult. If you are having difficultly understanding if palliative care is covered continue reading.
As you age, you may find yourself in need of palliative care. After all, 40 million people in the US take advantage of palliative care each year.
Palliative care and hospice care are two types of services that help people maintain their quality of life after receiving a serious illness diagnosis. For example:
Of course, this isn’t a definitive list of conditions that may require palliative care. Young people with AIDS or sickle cell anemia may also need palliative care.
What’s the difference between palliative care and hospice care? And how can you make sure your Medicare plan covers either? We’re answering each of these questions and more below, so keep reading.
Palliative Care vs Hospice Care
Individuals with only a few months to live are the ideal candidate for hospice care. Meanwhile, palliative care is for those diagnosed with a serious illness but who are still in the early stages.
Hospice care provides physical and emotional support for patients. This care usually replaces treatment for serious illness.
Palliative care uses a slightly different approach. That’s because this type of care takes place alongside serious illness treatment. Palliative care incorporates all facets of the patient’s life, including the patient’s family’s wellbeing.
Medicare Coverage For Palliative Care
Original and private Medicare cover palliative care. If you qualify for palliative care coverage, you pay nothing for medically necessary services. Additionally, you may only have to pay $5 per prescription for your illness.
Here’s what’s covered for palliative care under the different Medicare plans.
Medicare Part A covers in-patient services. In other words, it covers the services you receive in a hospital. This includes palliative and hospice care.
If you receive in-patient palliative care, you may have to pay a 5% copayment.
Medicare Part B covers out-patient care. That means the care you receive in a doctor’s office or at home. Part B covers any appointments, medical equipment, or therapy you may need for the treatment or management of your illness.
However, keep in mind that Medicare Part B won’t cover the cost of room and board for palliative care you receive at home or in a nursing home facility.
Part C Medicare (also known as Medicare Advantage) is any Medicare plan a private insurance company sells. Medicare Advantage will cover everything covered under Original Medicare, plus any additional services you may desire.
For example, you may need medication to manage the symptoms of your illness. You may also need to stay in a long-term care facility if your mobility declines. Part C Medicare covers both of these services.
Medicare Part D covers any prescription medications you might need. This includes drugs a physician prescribes to treat your illness or make you feel more comfortable.
Get Part C and Part D Coverage for Palliative Care
You can get palliative care coverage under Original and private Medicare plans.