Medicare is the national health insurance program that generally covers those aged 65 and older. The program is intended to make sure that the country’s older population — who often live on lower, fixed incomes — have access to medical care when needed.

Medicare Helps Reduce Healthcare Expenses for Seniors

Healthcare premiums can be quite expensive. Most Medicare Part A participants pay no premiums. Part A covers hospitalization, which can be the most costly medical expense.

In addition to hospitalization, Medicare Part A also covers hospice care. Hospice care is an essential component of treatment for many older adults.

Hospice Care Provides Comfort

When a patient is terminally ill, with six months or so left to live, patients and their families have to make tough decisions about how to proceed. In many patients, the focus becomes providing palliative care versus looking for a cure. Palliative care is all about comfort. Pain management may be increased, and aggressive disease suppression tactics, such as chemotherapy in cancer patients, are ended.

Quality of life at the end of life is the focus of hospice care. If frequently takes place in the home of the terminally ill, unlike hospitalization. Hospice care nurses and medical providers administer medication and tend to a person’s care in their final months.

Hospice Care Is Fully Covered Under Medicare

As long as a patient is certified by their doctor as terminally ill, Medicare will cover hospice care. If a patient recovers, then certification may be reviewed, and a different care plan may be initiated. If no longer certified, the care may become considered a Part B, C, or D expense which then might not be fully covered.

While no one wants to dwell on their mortality, it is comforting to know that finances are less of a concern during end-of-life care situations.