For those who are considering hospice care for themselves or for a loved one, having the right information about exactly what you should expect during hospice and how you can successfully navigate such a difficult choice is important. To help you make the right decision and receive the support you need, let’s take a closer look at exactly what hospice is and how you can cover the costs associated with this type of care.
Who is hospice for?
Hospice care is an end-of-life care program that is designed to help patients with terminal illnesses receive relief from pain as they near the end of their lives. It’s important to remember that this is not a type of care that is meant to treat the underlying illness. Instead, those who enter hospice forgo treatment and focus more on alleviating the many symptoms that accompany aggressive terminal illnesses. If you or a loved one has an illness or condition that has progressed to such a point that treatment is no longer a viable option, hospice is the best way to maintain the best quality of life until you or your loved one passes on.
What types of care programs exist?
The word “hospice” is often associated with home-based care. For the most part, this is true. However, there are some alternative hospice options that will largely depend upon the state of the patient and the type of care and attention they will need. The main types of care programs include:
- Respite Care: This is a short-term form of hospice care that is provided when a caregiver is temporarily unable to provide care due to the demand or level of care needed for the patient in question.
- General Inpatient Care: Another form of short-term hospice care that is provided when a patient’s healthcare needs exceed that which is able to be provided in the home. Both this type of care and the one mentioned above are provided in a hospital setting.
- Routine Home Care: Home-based hospice care that is provided to patients who may be in the initial stages of giving up treatment. Oftentimes, those in this position will not require constant care (like those mentioned in the program below).
- Continuous Home Care: When a patient is nearing the end of their life or are having severe issues with their health, a continuous care routine will need to be established so that they receive the quality of care they need to benefit from the program.
No matter the severity of the symptoms experienced, there are hospice care programs for everyone.
How Can I Receive Coverage for Hospice Care?
In addition to the question of care, many wonder how much hospice programs cost and how they are going to afford said costs. Fortunately, for adults 65 or older who meet the necessary criteria, both Medicare parts A and B cover all necessary medical costs. If you fall into these criteria but have not yet signed up for Medicare, you can easily find quotes for Medicare insurance online. For children or adults who may need end-of-life care, Medicaid or private insurance may be able to handle some or all of the costs.
Keep in mind, however, that insurance only pays for medically-necessary costs. You will still be responsible for housing costs, any medications, and other associated expenses. You will also need to think of the expenses that will come after the hospice patient passes. For example, funeral-related costs or similar services like cremation provided by Legacy Cremation Services and unpaid debts should be on your mind as you are preparing for hospice care.
When treatment seems like it is no longer necessary, hospice can keep an individual comfortable until they reach the end of their life. If you want to know more about hospice and care costs before you sign up for a program, use the guide above to learn more about what options are at your disposal when you begin weighing your options.