Planning for the Cost of End-of-Life Care

The end-of-life care offered by Central Wyoming Hospice & Transitions is paid for by Medicare Hospice Benefit, Medicaid Hospice Benefit, and most private insurers. If a person does not have coverage through Medicare, Medicaid or a private insurance company, Central Wyoming Hospice & Transitions will work with the person and their family to ensure needed services can be provided. No one is ever turned away from our services because of inability to pay.

Medicare, Medicaid and Private Insurance

If you are covered by Medicare and Medicaid, Hospice benefits are provided on a per day (per diem) basis to the hospice provider. This benefit is all inclusive. What this means to you—the patient—is that all treatment, care, medications, and durable medical equipment related to your hospice diagnosis are included and there is no charge to you. While Medicare and Medicaid allow a $5/day copay, Central Wyoming Hospice & Transitions chose to waive that fee.

Medicare/Medicaid (and most private insurers) will pay all costs for the following services related to the terminal diagnosis:

  • Nursing care
  • Medical equipment (like wheelchairs or walkers)
  • Medical supplies (like bandages and catheters)
  • Drugs for symptom control and pain relief
  • Hospice Aide and homemaker services
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Social work services
  • Dietary counseling
  • Physician’s services
  • Grief support to help you and your family

Supplemental and Long-Term Care Insurance

Do you have a Medicare supplement or long-term care insurance policy? Are you under the impression that these will cover all of the cost of inpatient hospice care should the need arise? There are certain costs that are not paid for by Medicare, Medicare supplemental insurance or many long term care insurance policies. It is important to know this before the need arises. The costs most typically NOT covered include:

  • Room and Board for routine hospice care provided in a residential hospice home
  • Any treatment or services that are not related to the terminal illness or that are not approved by the hospice interdisciplinary team (these will be covered by your standard Medicare benefits).

Check with your provider to see what is and isn’t covered under your plan.

Planning for the Unexpected

Planning for hospice care should be a part of your overall financial plan, including emergency medical situations. The unfortunate truth is that most people prepare for medical emergencies, but not the cost of end-of-life care. If you don’t start the process early, it can put stress and a financial burden on you and your family.

  1. Check with your insurance provider to determine if you have hospice coverage. You may be able to add hospice coverage to your existing plan, if you don’t currently have it.
  2. Ask your insurance provider if they cover room and board in a residential hospice facility.
  3. Also ask if there are any limits on the amount of hospice care benefits your insurance will pay for.
  4. Find out if hospice services might be covered by other supplemental or long-term care insurance policies you already have.
  5. Once you know what your insurance will and won’t cover, let your financial advisor help identify other resources you may be able to tap if your hospice benefit limits are exceeded. Talk with him or her about putting money aside to cover any shortfall.

Following these steps can provide you with some peace of mind, and help identify your preparedness for end-of-life care. Keep in mind that you will never be asked to leave hospice simply because you cannot continue to pay for your care.

Your Help Would Make a Difference

Central Wyoming Hospice & Transitions (CWHTP) depends upon donations from individuals and businesses, as well as grants and fundraisers to offset the ever increasing gap between third party reimbursements and the actual costs of providing services.

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