What is not covered by Medicare?

When you choose hospice care, you’ve decided that you no longer want care to cure your terminal illness and/or your doctor has determined that efforts to cure your illness aren’t working. When you choose hospice care Medicare does not cover the following:

  • Treatment intended to cure your terminal illness. Talk with your doctor if you’re thinking about getting treatment to cure your illness. As a hospice patient, you always have the right to stop hospice care at any time.
  • Prescription drugs to cure your illness (rather than for symptom control or pain relief)
  • Care from any hospice provider that wasn’t set up by the hospice medical team
  • You must receive hospice care from the hospice provider you chose. All care that you receive for your terminal illness must be given by or arranged by the hospice team. You can’t get the same type of hospice care from a different provider, unless you change your hospice provider. However, you can still see your regular doctor if you’ve chosen him or her to be the attending medical professional who helps supervise your hospice care.
  • Medicare doesn’t cover room and board if you receive hospice care in your home or if you live in a nursing home or a hospice inpatient facility. However, if the hospice team determines that you need short-term inpatient or respite care services that they arrange, Medicare will cover your stay in the facility. You may have to pay a small copayment for the respite stay.