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Who Pays for Hospice Care? accent

March 20, 2024 | By

Hospice care can make life’s final chapter more meaningful, helping those with a life-limiting illness experience greater comfort and support throughout their final days or months. If it’s time to consider hospice care for yourself or your loved one, you may be concerned about costs. Fortunately, most people eligible for hospice have their costs fully covered by insurance. 

Here’s more information about who pays for hospice care so you can focus on spending time with your loved one without being distracted by financial worries.

What’s Included in Hospice Care?

Hospice care supports all aspects of a person’s well-being to enhance their quality of life. It includes a variety of end-of-life services, such as: 

  • Non-curative medical care
  • Counseling services
  • Short-term inpatient care
  • Medical equipment and supplies
  • Home health aide and homemaker services
  • Physical, speech, or occupational therapy 
For WesleyLife families, hospice can even extend to bereavement services for loved ones. These are offered for at least a year after the family’s loss and include support groups and remembrance-themed events.

Is Hospice Care Free in the U.S.?

As with any medical care, hospice care comes with a cost. Medical equipment suppliers and the many dedicated professionals who give their time and expertise to caring for hospice patients must be reimbursed. However, for most people receiving hospice care, the service is free of most out-of-pocket costs because it is covered by insurance. Considering the immense value of the support you can receive through hospice care, this coverage can feel like a significant gift. 

Read below to learn how hospice funding most often works. 



Most hospice patients’ costs are covered by the Medicare Hospice benefit. This coverage comes into play when you’ve chosen to forgo curative treatments and instead shift focus to enhancing quality of life through hospice care. 

Medicare Part A covers hospice services almost entirely with no deductible, so long as these services are administered by a Medicare-approved provider. That said, some minor charges can still arise. For instance, you may need to pay a copayment of up to $5 per prescription for outpatient prescription drugs taken to manage discomfort or symptoms. When inpatient respite care is needed, you may be required to pay 5% of the Medicare-approved amount. 



Medicaid also pays for hospice care in many instances. Because Medicaid is a joint federal and state program, you must check to see if your state offers a hospice benefit. Most states do, including Iowa and Illinois. Specifics surrounding this benefit can also vary from state to state, so ensure you know what will qualify you to receive care at no cost.


Private Insurance

Private insurance offers an avenue to fund hospice care for those who don’t qualify for Medicare or Medicaid. If your physician says you qualify, check  with your provider to see if part or all of the cost is covered.. You should also find out whether certain hospice providers are approved by your insurance company.


Veterans Benefits

U.S. military veterans with a life-limiting illness can receive hospice care with no out-of-pocket cost through their U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits. Hospice-related services can be administered at home or in a community setting, and all costs are covered with no copays for services. 


Hospice Care: An Immensely Valuable Resource

Hospice care can allow you and your family to feel supported at every level as you navigate this unique time. With comprehensive coverage from many insurance providers, you can benefit from these services without being burdened by financial worries.  

WesleyLife has provided personalized in-home hospice care to those in our community for two decades now, and we remain passionate about the vital role this service can play for individuals and families. Learn more about hospice care from WesleyLife.


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