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How much can Hospice Care at Home Cost? - 2022 Hospice Care Costs

It is a tough time for people when they have got to look for end of life options. Usually, hospice care at home cost should not be a worry when you are wanting to get good end of life care for your loved one. However, there’s no definite cost, it depends on the type of care and the degree of care your family member with terminal illness requires.

Help that insurances can provide with Hospice Care 

There are various health care insurances like Medicare that usually cover hospice care at home cost. Even low income households can get easy financial coverage by Medicaid, Medicare, or other private insurances. You only have to have insurance under your name and the insurance company, along with the hospital, will make sure that health care services aren’t burdening you monetarily.  

Medicare’s Help for Hospice Patients  

The Medicare government program is providing a huge number of hospice patients with health care. Any individual who is terminally ill and has a few months to live will mostly get the hospice facility that is completely covered by Medicare. 

Because getting countless bills of hospice services after the loved one has departed is the last thing family members would want. That’s why a medicare certified hospice facility is available for almost everyone who falls under their eligibility criteria.

Medicare can cover hospice services costing as much as $10,000 a month. It all depends on the hospice patients and what kind of care is preferable for them. 

In the report of The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, it was written that hospice providers have taken up a total of $16.9 billion from Medicare. Taking it on average, medicare spends $11,820 on a single patient. 

Who is Eligible for Medicare’s Hospice Benefits?

First, the individual must be 65 years old or older and he or she should be a terminally ill patient as well. There must be a piece of certified evidence from the doctor that the patient with serious illness has 6 months or less than that to live. 

The patient must also agree that he or she will not undergo any more of the curative treatment. Lastly, hospice providers must be approved by Medicare if you want Medicare to cover all the costs. 24 hour home care is another care option common for elderly patients not in hospice. Just like hospice care home cost, 24 hour home care cost varies widely.

Hospice services that Medicare gives full coverage of

There are certain hospice services that will be cost free for you if you have them covered by Medicare,

  • General Inpatient care and Nursing care
  • Physical services and Counseling of all sorts  
  • Homemaker services and Hospice health aides
  • Medical supplies and appliances along with occupational and physical therapies
  • Grief and bereavement services for the family members
  • Speech language pathology services
  • Services of medical social workers

The cost that Medicare doesn’t give coverage of 

  • Emergency room’s cost or ambulance fee
  • Room and board
  • Curative treatment or drugs

Medicaid’s Help for Hospice Patients

Other than medicare, there are more options to consider. Medicaid is primarily there to bear the hospice care cost for low income households. Moreover, adults and children having disabilities who fall under the eligibility criteria can get a complete cost coverage of end of life care.   

The criteria for eligibility are almost the same for both Medicare and Medicaid. The individual must have a serious illness and almost 6 months or less time than that to live. Also, the hospice services must be provided by a medicare certified hospice facility. But there’s no definite policy for Medicaid, it may vary in different states.

Moreover, Medicaid would help hospice patients with almost 95% of room and board costs in a nursing home.

Private Insurance Coverage Options

There are other private health insurances that one can opt for. Private health insurance companies are there for families seeking hospice care at home. But with private insurances, it is better to know beforehand what hospice services will be covered and what would require money.

It depends on your private health insurance plan as well. If there is palliative care, end of life care, or hospice care in the policy then you will get all this care for sure. You better look out for only those plans who provide coverage for hospice care at home cost. Because not all plans have hospice care in them.

Other Cost Coverage Options  

The Veterans Administration also has a health care program going on, named CHAMPVA (Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs). This program gives all the health care and hospice care for veterans.

The US Department of Defense has a health care program TRICARE. It provides various benefits for military personnel and those who have retired. Hospice care benefits would all come under this program for them.

For people with no private health care insurance, they are not backed by Medicare or Medicaid. All such individuals would have to bear the hospice costs on their own. However, there are some charities and donations that will help individuals to pay for hospice care services. 

What would Hospice Care Cost if There is No Insurance 

Generally talking of statistics, in 2018 there was a total of $3.65 trillion that went all in for health care. Americans spent $365 billion of that amount in hospice care. Another study of 2019 tells that people who had not backed themselves with any insurance had to spend almost $27,455 more in health care costs.

Then, looking at 2021’s payment rates, at first, the home health care is paid highly for $199 a day for 60 days, then for 61 days and beyond it goes down to $157 a day. This is level 1 where nurses often visit 2 to 3 times in a span of a week. Home health aide costs are gradually increasing around the States and it varies based on skill set, area and other factors.

In level 2, in which licensed practical nurses or registered nurses must spend 8 hours a day due to acute crises. The hospice patient shows symptoms of his or her health deteriorating at a faster pace and the hourly care costs $59.68 and 24 hours supervision costs $1,432.41.

Level 3 is where much critical care is required and the hospice patient is up for inpatient care at a skilled nursing facility or Medicare certified hospice facility. It has nurses available at any time of the day and it costs $1,045.66 for a day.

Then there comes inpatient respite care. It is for those caregivers who want some days off from respite care. The period of break may go up to 5 days but that too in every 60 to 90 days. For inpatient respite care per day, it costs $461.09.


Hospice care is simply there to relieve some stress from your already demanding life. There shouldn't be a single thought of being able to afford hospice care. You already have had enough. The financial element has great importance but it should not supersede the importance of your mental and emotional health as well as the overall health of the patient.

If Medicare, Medicaid, or having any other insurance information about private health companies can help in getting full coverage, then consider half of the stress in terms of the financial burden is resolved. 

It is better to back yourself up with insurance. However, if you don't have an insurance plan then you can estimate how much it might cost you, depending on what type of hospice care you are looking for.

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