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Who Pays for Hospice?

Medicare & Medi-Cal cover the full cost of hospice care. Most private insurance covers hospice as well, and reimbursements vary. No patient is ever turned away because of an inability to pay. We can help with any questions you may have about paying for hospice.


Hospice care is available as a benefit under Medicare Part A. Medicare beneficiaries who choose hospice care receive non-curative medical and support services for their terminal illness. Emphasis is on helping the person to make the most of each hour and each day of remaining life by providing comfort and relief from pain.

While they no longer receive treatment toward a cure, they require close medical and supportive care which a hospice can provide. Hospice care under Medicare includes both home care and inpatient care, when needed, and a variety of services not otherwise covered by Medicare. The focus is on care, not cure.

For more information about Medicare health plans or to receive a Medicare handbook, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

Hospice care compared to medical treatment:


Hospice Care

Medical Treatment

Primary focus

Patient's quality of life: physical, emotional, spiritual

Patient's physical illness


Attitude towards death

Natural part of life

Not responsive to medical treatment

Physical care


Palliative care: seeks to relieve pain and physical discomfort, neither seeks to prolong life nor hasten death

Curative care: seeks to prolong life, intensive care can involve pain and physical discomfort

Emotional and spiritual support

Part of hospice care

Supplementary to physical treatment

Place of Care

Usually in the home; also can be in nursing facilities or assisted living settings.

Usually hospitals or clinics

Family and friends involvement with patient

Integral to hospice care


Secondary to treatment

Support for family and friends

Integral to hospice care


Secondary to treatment

After death

Bereavement care offered to family and friends for over a year

Death concludes treatment


Video Info on Medicare

For a very informative video series on Medicare, please visit