| Tue, Dec 21, 2010 @ 09:00 AM

Finding a Medicare-Certified Hospice Care Program

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

Medicare-Hospice-Care-ProgramsMost Medicare services help you get the care you need to return to an active life, but some conditions can be life threatening. In cases when life expectancy is six months or fewer, your doctor may feel your needs are best met by a Medicare-certified hospice care program.

If you choose hospice care, Medicare no longer covers treatments intended to cure your condition. Instead, Medicare pays 100% of the cost of your hospice care. Medicare’s hospice care services are designed to make your last months of life as comfortable as possible. You’ll receive care intended to meet the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of you and your loved ones.

The Cost of Hospice Care

Hospice care is provided under Medicare Part A. Those who choose hospice care will receive coverage for 100% of the cost of their care including medications, medical supplies and equipment like walkers and wheelchairs. Your hospice program will also create a special team to care for you which may include nurses, doctors, nursing assistants, social workers, chaplains and trained volunteers.

Hospice Eligibility

If you choose hospice care, you and your family will need to select a Medicare-approved hospice care program in your area. Your doctor and the hospice program’s medical director must certify that you have a terminal illness. This is a condition which will likely result in a life expectancy of approximately six months or less.

Finding a Hospice Care Program

Depending on where you live, there will likely be several hospice care programs from which to choose.

To learn more about the Medicare-approved hospice care programs in your area, call the Medicare helpline at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or visit medicare.gov.

Be sure to weigh the benefits of each and select the program with which you and your family are the most comfortable.

Additional Resources

http://www.Medicare.gov/longtermcare/static/HomeCare.asp

https://www.cms.gov/center/hospice.asp

The family of UnitedHealthcare® Medicare Solutions plans are insured or covered by an affiliate of UnitedHealthcare, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract and Medicare-approved Part D Sponsor.

Y0066_101214_164730 File & Use 12202010