“Can I afford end-of-life care for my loved one?” This is a real concern for many older Americans nearing retirement age. In 2018, West Virginia ranked third in the United States with the highest population over 65 years of age. This makes up a lot of friends and neighbors who will be caring for a loved one at end-of-life or will need care for themselves.
The good news is the cost of end-of-life care is covered. For 37 years, the Medicare Hospice Benefit has been in place to fund the cost of end-of-life care. Families making end-of-life decisions for their loved ones need compassion and support, not financial worries, which has brought great relief to families during one of life’s most difficult times.
END-OF-LIFE CARE IS AVAILABLE WHEN YOU NEED IT
To qualify for hospice, there are general requirements including:
- The individual must have a life-limiting illness with a prognosis of 6 months or less if the disease takes its normal course; and, is certified by a physician of this condition.
- The individual must live in the service area that a hospice covers, agree to accept the services and will forgo other medical interventions for the terminal illness.
Hospice care is paid for through the Medicare Hospice Benefit, Medicaid Hospice Benefit and most private insurers. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs includes a Hospice Benefit as well. If a person does not have coverage, WV Caring will work with the person and their family to ensure that needed services are provided regardless of their ability to pay for care.
MEDICARE: THE HOSPICE BENEFIT – CARE YOU’VE ALREADY PAID FOR
Most people 65 years old or older have paid into Medicare since they entered the workforce many years ago, so, the Hospice Medicare Benefit is available for them to access it when it is time. As a result, the financial burdens often associated with caring for a terminally ill patient are lifted.
What Your Loved One Will Receive
Your loved one’s care will be paid for with no out-of-pocket expenses for the patient under the Hospice Medicare Benefit Part A. It covers care for the terminally ill in a home setting and includes:
- Nurses, physicians, social workers, clinical nursing aides, chaplains and volunteers to provide care
- Medical equipment and supplies
- Grief and loss counseling
To be more specific, the hospice benefit will cover all of their costs related to the diagnosis, including:
- Doctor services
- Nursing care
- Certified nursing aides
- Medical equipment (wheelchairs or walkers)
- Medical supplies (bandages and catheters)
- Drugs for symptom control and pain relief
- Respite and inpatient for pain and symptom management
- Social workers for emotional and financial support
- Chaplains for spiritual care
- Volunteers to assist and support
- 12 months of bereavement for the family after the loss of a loved one
You and your loved one will work with our professional team of experts to develop a personalized plan catered to specific needs for optimum comfort. Our custom care for patients encompasses a holistic approach of body, mind and spirit to provide medical care that is needed, help manage the emotional needs and serve to assist with the spiritual concerns. The WV Caring team will take care of the patient’s needs and provide support for the family through this difficult time.
If you have any questions or would like more information to see how we can help you, please call us at 1-866-656-9790 or visit our website.
WV Caring is your local, non-profit hospice providing end-of-life care for patients and families over the past 36 years. We have a proven track record, trusted and have provided expert care to generations of families.
You don’t need to wait for a doctor’s referral to hospice; anyone can make a referral. At WV Caring, we understand how challenging this can be for you and your loved one, so we are here to support and lift the burdens of end-of-life care.