Hospice Care

Medicare beneficiaries certified as terminally ill may choose to receive hospice care rather than regular Medicare benefits for their terminal illness. Part A can pay for two 90-day hospice benefit periods, a subsequent period of 30 days, and a subsequent extension of unlimited duration. If you enroll in a Medicare-certified hospice program, you will receive medical and support services necessary for symptom management and pain relief. When these services which are most often provided in your home-are furnished by a Medicare-certified hospice program, the coverage includes: physician services, nursing care, medical appliances and supplies (including drugs for symptom management and pain relief), short-term inpatient care, counseling, therapies, home health aide and homemaker services.

You do not have to pay Medicare’s deductibles and coinsurance for services and supplies furnished under the hospice benefit. You must pay only limited charges for outpatient drugs and inpatient respite care. In the event you require medical services for a condition unrelated to the terminal illness, regular Medicare benefits are available. When regular benefits are used, you are responsible for the applicable Medicare deductible and coinsurance amounts.

Gaps in Medicare Hospice Coverage:

– You pay limited charges for inpatient respite care and outpatient drugs.
– You pay deductibles and coinsurance amounts when regular Medicare benefits are used for treatment of a condition other than the terminal illness.

Psychiatric Hospital Care

Part A helps pay for up to 190 days of inpatient care in a Medicare-participating psychiatric hospital in your lifetime. Once you have used 190 days (or have used fewer than 190 days but have exhausted your inpatient hospital coverage), Part A doesn’t pay for any more inpatient care in a psychiatric hospital. Psychiatric care in general hospitals, rather than in free-standing psychiatric hospitals, is not subject to this 190-day limit. Inpatient psychiatric care in a general hospital is treated the same as other Medicare inpatient hospital care. If you are a patient in a psychiatric hospital on the first day of your entitlement to Medicare, there are additional limitations on the number of hospital days that Medicare will pay for.

Gaps in Medicare Inpatient Psychiatric Hospital Care:

– No coverage for care after you have received 190 days of such specialized treatment in your lifetime (even if you have not yet exhausted your inpatient hospital coverage).

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