Life Care PlanningMarch 16, 2014

Medicare Hospice Benefits

By: Hazen Law Group

What is Hospice?

Hospice is a way of caring for patients who are terminally ill.

  • Hospice is covered under Medicare Part A.
  • Focus is on care, not cure of the patient.

Eligibility requirements.

  • Patient is eligible for Medicare Part A;
  • The physician and hospice medical director certify terminal illness with less than six-month life expectancy;
  • Patient signs statement choosing hospice care instead of routine Medicare covered benefits for the terminal illness;
  • Care is provided from a Medicare-approved hospice program.

Length of Medicare covered hospice.

  • Coverage can be extended as long as physician certifies terminal illness.
  • Coverage is for two 90-day periods of care. If terminal illness continues, coverage can be continued for an unlimited number of 60-day periods.
  • Physician certification of terminal illness is required at the start of each period of care.
  • Patients can terminate hospice care at any time and resume care with the patient’s regular physician or health plan.

Hospice Covered Services include, but are not limited to:

  • Physician services;
  • Nursing care;
  • Medical equipment and supplies;
  • Medications for symptom control and pain relief;
  • Short term hospitalizations or respite care;
  • Home health aides and homemaker services;
  • Physical, occupational and speech therapy;
  • Social services;
  • Dietary counseling; and
  • rief and loss counseling for the patient and family.

Non-covered service:

  • Treatment to cure the terminal illness.


The National Hospice Organization
1901 North Moore Street, Suite 901
Arlington, VA 22209
(800) 658-8898

The Hospice Association of America
228 7th Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 546-4759

Pennsylvania Hospice Network
(717) 230-9993
(800) 633-4227

There is a path to a secure future for you & your family.