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Medicare is a health insurance program for people 65 years of age and
older, for some people younger than 65 who have disabilities, and for people
with long-term (chronic) kidney failure treated with dialysis or a transplant.
Medicare is administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
(CMS) of the United States government.
The Medicare hospice benefit is described in Part A, which talks about hospital insurance. Part A benefits
provide coverage for hospitals, nursing facilities (but not custodial or long-term care), some home health care, and
hospice. People (including a spouse) who paid Medicare taxes while they were
working are eligible for Part A benefits. A monthly payment, or premium, is not
required for Part A benefits.
The Medicare hospice benefit provides coverage for services related
to a life-limiting illness. Hospice care is covered under Medicare Part A
benefits. You must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for the
Medicare hospice benefit:
Medicare pays the hospice program a daily (per diem) rate that is
intended to fully cover most services related to a
life-limiting illness, including:
If your condition changes so that hospice is no longer appropriate,
you can get your previous Medicare benefits reinstated. You can also re-apply
for hospice benefits at a later time if needed.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of the United
States government manages the Medicare hospice benefit. You may call toll-free
(1-800-633-4227) or visit its Web site at www.cms.gov
for more information.
July 6, 2012
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Shelly R. Garone, MD, FACP - Palliative Medicine
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