Who Pays for Hospice Care?

hospice worker taking care of the elderly

route to hospice

If you are in a situation in which you have to think about the cost of hospice care for a loved one, you may be overwhelmed with all of the information. It can also be overwhelming in general to coordinate your loved one’s care and make difficult decisions about what will be best for them.

Financial concerns, and trying to figure out who will pay for the hospice care should not add any additional stress in an already difficult situation. For more information on who pays for hospice care, continue reading:


If your loved one has been placed in hospice care with a terminal illness, their complete hospice stay and all hospice care may be covered up to 100% by the Medicare Hospice Benefit in Medicare Part A. 

This is an inclusive benefit that covers all care and services related to the terminal illness, including visits by healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, therapists), medication, therapy, supplies, and more.

Hospice care that is not related to a terminal illness would be covered under regular Medicare Parts A and B with all regular rules applicable, such as copays, deductibles, etc. Specific questions about coverage can be directed toward the Medicare help line.

Private Insurance

If your loved one’s hospice care is not covered by Medicare or Medicaid, private insurance may provide coverage. Since each insurance plan and associated benefits are different, you will need to contact your insurance provider to learn more about coverage options.

If you are planning to use private insurance, you may also want to check with your relative’s hospice care provider about which insurance plans they take. If you haven’t yet chosen a hospice care provider, you can ask potential candidates if they take the private insurance plan that you are planning on using.

hospice worker taking care of the elderly

Other Payment Options

In the rare case that the majority of your loved one’s hospice care is not covered by Medicare or private insurance, there are a few other avenues you can pursue. First, be sure to speak with the hospice care provider you have chosen.

Generally, hospices employ financial specialists whose sole job is to assist families with payment of hospice care and securing funding for their relative’s stay. Speak with the financial specialist about any charitable options you may qualify for from charitable organizations. 

The financial specialist may also be able to work with you on a self-pay plan if you have exhausted all other options.

Choosing hospice care for a loved one is hard enough without all of the worries related to finances. If you are worrying about finances as you transition your loved one to hospice care, there are several resources to help you. Be sure to speak to the financial specialist at the hospice care provider.

They should be able to figure out coverage from Medicare/Medicaid and private insurance (if necessary). If those coverage options are maxed out or not available to your loved one, the financial specialist can also help with funding from charitable organizations and a self-pay plan, if absolutely necessary.