Is Palliative Care Covered by Insurance?

Both public and private insurance policies include palliative care. Bills for physicians, drugs, and hospital visits can quickly mount up if you have a serious illness. Money issues are unfortunately a large component of being unwell in America for many families.

Palliative care can be beneficial.

Palliative care can help you avoid the hospital by satisfying your needs and assisting you in making plans. You will receive the care that you desire while avoiding costly emergency department visits. Palliative care can be provided concurrently with disease therapy to help you live as comfortably as possible. It’s a team-based approach to care that reclaims control of your life. If you’re worried about the cost of health care, your palliative care team can help. They can assist you in determining whether services are covered by your health plan now and in the future, or you can contact your health plan directly. Always double-check to see what co-pays or fees you’ll be expected to pay. It doesn’t have to be more expensive to have this added layer of protection. Both public and private insurance policies cover palliative care. Palliative care services in the hospital, rehabilitation, and skilled nursing or hospice facilities are covered by most private insurance plans, as well as Medicare and Medicaid. The terms “palliative” and “palliative care” are not used in Medicare or Medicaid, but the services are the same. One of the most difficult aspects of healthcare is providing comfort to the terminally ill. While new developments are great, they can make the landscape complicated for patients and caregivers. Palliative care is becoming more widely available, which is a significant advancement. This relatively new medical specialty helps people suffering from a serious illness – whether curable, chronic, or life threatening – reduce pain, manage symptoms, and enhance their quality of life. Palliative care and hospice care are sometimes confused (which focuses on managing symptoms and stress during the terminal phase of a serious illness, usually defined as a life expectancy of six months or less). Palliative care, on the other hand, can provide consolation to patients who are not near death.  

Hospices vs. Palliative Care

The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine suggests that while hospice treatment is usually palliative, not all palliative care is hospice care. Even if a full recovery is expected, a patient receiving chemotherapy for cancer can get palliative care services to aid with the side effects and pain associated with those therapies, as well as the sickness itself. Alternatively, a palliative care doctor may be able to assist a person with heart failure in coping with the discomfort and inconvenient side effects of diuretics, which are a typical treatment for the disease. Patients and care givers can also be connected to support groups and other emotional support systems through palliative care specialists. Palliative care can be provided in a variety of medical settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and at home. You may be referred by your regular care physician or meet with a member of the hospital staff during your stay. Palliative doctors frequently collaborate with a group of people, including nurses, social workers, and volunteers.  

If you’re considering palliative care, here are four questions to ask a potential provider.

  1. How would you provide care that differs from that provided by my existing doctors? While your doctors focus on treating your illness, your palliative care team should be equipped to assist with pain management, symptom management, and treatment side effects. You’ll also want someone who can assist you and your family with the issues that come with a serious disease, such as medical treatment decisions, caregiver stress, and long-term planning.
  2. How will you work with my present physicians? It’s critical to establish clear channels of communication from the start. Your palliative care provider must collaborate closely with your treating physicians for palliative care to be effective.
  3. Will all your services be covered by my insurance? As previously stated, different insurance plans cover palliative care differently. Make sure your palliative care practitioner is familiar with your coverage and understands any potential limitations. You should also check with your insurance company.
  4. Will my family and friends be involved? One of palliative care’s key pillars is to educate and support caregivers as well as patients. You’ll want to be sure that your care crew has been trained and is willing to assist you.
  You may be able to obtain palliative care in your community if you have Medicare Part A coverage. Nursing, social work, and spiritual care visits are all possible services. If you have Medicare Part B, some services and supplies to treat your disease may be covered. If you have Medicaid, some palliative care treatments and drugs, as well as doctor visits, may be covered. Palliative care is covered by many private insurance plans as part of their chronic care, long-term care, or hospice benefits. Inquire with your insurance agent.  

Get in touch with Oasis today at (708) 564-4838 so that we can help you get started on the process to help you and your loved ones.