Key Takeaways

  • Hospice is a program of end-of-life pain management and comfort care for those with a terminal illness.

  • Medicare covers hospice services under Part A for people with terminal illnesses who elect coverage.

  • This FAQ and slide deck answer questions that counselors may have to better assist Medicare beneficiaries with navigating hospice care with the different parts of Medicare.

Hospice provides comfort care for those with a terminal illness. Medicare's hospice benefit is primarily home-based, and offers end-of-life palliative care as well as support for a beneficiary's physical and emotional needs.

This frequently asked questions document, developed for us by the Medicare Rights Center, explains more about Medicare coverage of hospice services. It answers the questions:

  • What is hospice?
  • How does a Medicare beneficiary elect hospice care?
  • What services are covered under Medicare's hospice benefit?
  • How are drugs covered under the hospice benefit?
  • How does hospice work for beneficiaries in Medicare Advantage plans?
  • Does Medicare cover hospice care in a skilled nursing facility?
  • How does a beneficiary continue hospice past their initial prognosis?
  • How does a beneficiary end the hospice benefit?
  • How can beneficiaries protect themselves from hospice fraud?
  • Does Medicare cover palliative care outside of hospice?

The Medicare Rights Center also developed this slide deck for professionals to use when training counselors and volunteers on this topic.


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