Does Medicare Cover Hospice?

Medicare Part A covers some hospice services for those who qualify, but it doesn’t cover everything. Some covered services include doctor services, nursing care, social worker services and some medical equipment. Learn more and explore your coverage options.

Medicare Part A does cover hospice services for those who qualify, but it doesn’t cover everything. For example, Part A doesn't cover room and board, ambulance transportation or curative treatment you receive while in hospice care.

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan (also called Medicare Part C), you still get your hospice benefits from Medicare Part A. Your Medicare Advantage plan, however may offer additional benefits that Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) doesn't cover, such as prescription drugs and caregiver support services.

How does Medicare cover hospice?

Typically, hospice care is given in your home, but it may also be covered in a hospice inpatient facility. Some of the hospice services that may be covered by Medicare include:

  • Doctor services
  • Nursing care
  • Medical equipment such as walkers or wheelchairs
  • Some prescription drugs (for symptom control or pain relief only)
  • Short-term respite care
  • Hospice aide and homemaker services
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Social worker services
  • Speech-language pathology services
  • Dietary counseling
  • Grief counseling for you and your family
  • Short-term inpatient care (for pain and symptom management)

Medicare does not cover room and board, ambulance transportation or treatment intended to cure your illness or a related condition while in hospice care.

Who is eligible for Medicare hospice coverage?

To be eligible for hospice benefits, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and meet all of the following conditions:

  • Your primary care doctor and your hospice doctor certify that you are expected to live six months or less
  • You are no longer seeking care to cure your illness and are instead accepting palliative care (for comfort)
  • You sign a statement choosing hospice care instead of other treatments for your illness and related conditions

Does Medicare Advantage cover hospice care?

Medicare Advantage plans provide the same benefits as Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B). However, one exception is hospice care.

If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you still receive your hospice care coverage from Medicare Part A.

Unlike Original Medicare, which is administered by the federal government, Medicare Advantage plans are sold by private insurance companies and may often include additional benefits like prescription drug, dental and vision coverage.

To learn more about Medicare Advantage plans and to compare Medicare Advantage plans that may be available in your area, call today to speak with a licensed insurance agent.

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About the author

Christian Worstell is a licensed insurance agent and a Senior Staff Writer for He is passionate about helping people navigate the complexities of Medicare and understand their coverage options.

His work has been featured in outlets such as Vox, MSN, and The Washington Post, and he is a frequent contributor to health care and finance blogs.

Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He currently lives in Raleigh, NC.

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